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Montcalm County 





With Biographical Sketches of Representative Citizens and 
Genealogical Records of Many of the Old Families 





Indianapolis, Indiana 


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To the dear, departed ones, whose busy hands changed the giant for- 
ests into fertile fields; whose love of home established the hearthstones, the 
tender ties of which yet bind together the heartstrings of the native born; 
whose patriotism gave the best of their lives and substance for the defense of 
their country; whose graves make sacred the soil their feet so often trod. 


All life an J achievement is evolution; present wisdom comes from past 
experience, and present commercial prosperity has come only from post 
exertion and sacrifice. The deeds and motives of the men who have gone 
before have been instrumental in shaping the destinies of later communities 
and states. The development of a new country was at once a task and a 
privilege. It required great courage, sacrifice and privation. Compare the 
present conditions of the people of Montcalm county, Michigan, with what 
they were seven decades ago. From a trackless wilderness and virgin 
land, it has come to be a center of prosperity and civilization, with millions 
of wealth, systems of railways, grand educational institutions, splendid 
industries and immense agricultural and mineral productions. Can any 
thinking person be insensible to the fascination of the study which discloses 
the aspirations and efforts of the early pioneers who so strongly laid the 
foundation upon which has been reared the magnificent prosperity of later 
days? To perpetuate the story of these people and to trace and record the 
social, political and industrial progress of the community from its first 
inception is the function of the local historian. A sincere purpose to preserve 
facts and personal memoirs that are deserving of perpetuation, and which, 
unite the present to the past is the motive for the present publication. A 
specially valuable and interesting department is that one devoted to the 
sketches of representative citizens of the county whose records deserve 
preservation because of their worth, effort and accomplishment. The pub- 
lishers desire to extend their thanks to the gentlemen who have so faithfully 
labored to this end. Thanks are also due to the citizens of Montcalm 
county for the uniform kindness with which they have regarded this under- 
taking, and for their many services rendered in the gaining of necessary 

In placing the "History of Montcalm County, Michigan," before the 
citizens, the publishers can conscientiously claim that they have carried out 
the plan as outlined in the prospectus. livery biographical sketch in the 
work has been submitted to the party interested, for correction, and there- 
fore any error of fact, if there be any, is solely due to the person for whom 
the sketch was prepared. Confident that our effort to please will fully meet 
the approbation of the public, we are. 







Surface Features — Altitudes — Streams — Lakes — First Correction Line — Rock 
Formations — Terminal Moraines — Glacial Drifts — Effect of Lakes on Tem- 
perature — Extremes of Temperature — The Growing Season — Rainfall — Coal 
Deposits — Types of Soil — Area — Improved Land. 


Adoption of First Constitutions by State — First Settlement of State — Prin- 
cipal Facts Concerning Formation of State — Legislative Act Creating Mont- 
calm County — The First Settlers — Montcalm Township — First Election and 
First Officers— First Assessment for Taxation — Montcalm County Enabling 
Act — Its Name — County Board of Supervisors — Apportionment of Taxes, 
1850 — Real and Personal Property Valuations— First Land Entry in County 
— Other First Events — Location of the County Seat — Beginning of Rivalry — 
First Court House at Stanton — Bond Issue for Present Court House — Excit- 
ing Contest — Description of County Buildings — Care of the Poor. 


Location — Boundaries — Organization — First Election — First Officers — Soil — 
Drainage — Land Entries — Early Settlements — First Schools — Sumnerville — 
Six Lakes. 


Organization — First Election — Natural Features — Early Settlement Tardy — 
Naming the Township — Assessment Roll for 1852 — Original Land Purchas- 
ers — Early Settlements — The Miner Family — An Early Visit to Crystal Lake 
— Pioneers — Early Events — Carson City — Its Settlement, Growth and Busi- 
ness Enterprises — Statistics — Country Contributary to Carson City — Char- 
acteristic Features of the Town — Prominent Citizens of Other Days — City 
Officials — Butternut. 


Organization — First Election and Officers Chosen — Location of Township 
and Boundaries — Natural Features — Original Land Entries — Early Settle- 
ments — First Crops — A Bear Hunt — An English Immigrant — First Events in 
the Township — A Long-drawn-out Suit for a Gun — Vickeryville. 



Entries— Some of the Early Settlers— Village of Coral— Trufant— Maple 
Valley— Stalham W. Ladu. 


The Pioneer Township of the County — Its Organization — First Township 
Meeting — Area and Boundaries — Natural Features — Land Entries — The Lin- 
coln Family— Other Early Settlers— Residents in 1851— Gowen Village. 


Situation — Changes in Area — Present Boundaries — Natural Features — Orig- 
inal Land Entries— Early Settlements— Early Events— Village of Picrson— 
Maple Hill— Wood Lake— VVhitefish Lake— Sand Lake. 


Boundaries— Creation of— First Officers— Soil and Othei 'atural Features- 
Original Land F'.ntries— Lumbering Interests— Beginning ,,f \griculture- 
A Successful Hotel— First Postoffice— Langston. 


Description— Organization— First Township Meeting— Original .__ -S^H"L st 
—Streams and Soil— Lumber Industry— I loward City-ln the OJtftfbMlg^ 
Early Settlers— Growth of the Town— Disastrous Eire s— W lO f PWM'Kn Pftc 
Town Today— The Besemet Home— Conger. |_ \lPf%X $' r 


Organization of the Township— Location j>llil Wk4m**1*H 'Natural Features 
—Original Land Entries— Charles D e a U«»^ V« A Wl *: * 


Description of— Organizati<^.^| ^|fa|Mhrtr Features— Destructive Tornado 
and Fire— luirly ° 111 mrntlC^ QllglBril T in I Entries— Colby— Sidney. 


Description of— Cfrgani;;tJrk>?t— Original Land Entries— Early Settlements- 
Early Events — Amble. 


Michigan's Rank til ; Agriculture— Montcalm's High Rank Among Her Sister 
Counties— Acnei^' *hd Yield of Potatoes— Live Stock— Crop Reports- 
Leading Potato Markets — County 1'arm Agents — County Drains — The Era 
of Good Roads— lt^kalm County Agricultural Society— Fairs— Other Agri- 
cultural Assoct»dK»imji.-T-'air and Races at Howard City— Organizations of 
Stock Breeders-**S^«jfy of Oscar Fenn— Montcalm County Farmers' Insti- 
tute — Conditions <4 f*joneer Days. 


Natural Conditions*^ Ijfcrly Days— Indian Trails— Story of the Early Roads 
and Trails— I r irsti4Mfef*Hoad— Locating Some of the Early Roads— Arousing 



Entries — Some of the Early Settlers — Village of Coral — Trufant — Maple 
Valley — Stalham W. Ladu. 


The Pioneer Township of the County — Its Organization — First Township 
Meeting — Area and Boundaries — Natural Features — Land Entries— The Lin- 
coln Family — -Other Early Settlers — Residents in 1851 — Gowen Village. 


Situation — Changes in Area — Present Boundaries — Natural Features — Orig- 
inal Land Entries — Early Settlements — Early Events — Village of Pierson — 
Maple Hill— Wood Lake— Whitefish Lake— Sand Lake. 


Boundaries — Creation of — First Officers — Soil and Othei T atural 'Features — 
Original Land Entries — Lumbering Interests — Beginning oi Agriculture — 
A Successful Hotel — First Postoffice — Langston. 


Description — Organization — First Township Meeting — Original J 
— Streams and Soil — Lumber Industry — Howard City — In thj, 
Early Settlers — Growth of the Town — Disastrous Fires-3 
Town Today— The Besemct Home — Conger. 


Organization of the Township — Location jidHH^HHlr^atural' Features 
— Original Land Entries — Charles Dea^ 


Description of — O r g an i za t^^SB^HHpP^ , eatures — Destructive Tornado 
and Fire — Early Scttlcgg||^P£^HHpfrand Entries — Colby — Sidney. 


Description ^0mKgmx\iWB^— Original Land Entries — Early Settlements — 
Early Event* 


Michigan's ^^BMP^fericulture — Montcalm's High Rank Among Her Sister 
Counties — AcMljHH^HIl Yield of Potatoes — Live Stock — Crop Reports — 
Leading Pota ^l3isP ts — County Farm Agents — County Drains— The Era 
of Good Roa( 'MS|plm County Agricultural Society — Fairs — Other Agri- 
cultural Assoc Wjli|H|fair and Races at Howard City — Organizations of 
Stock ttrcederilHHHpof Oscar Fenn — Montcalm County Farmers' Insti- 
tute — ConditionjJHMJ[^B|peer Days. 

Natural Conditi< 
and Trails — Fii 


ly Days — Indian Trails— Story of the Early Roads 
ad— Locating Some of the Early Roads— Arousing 



Interest in Better Highways — State Highway Commission — Greenville Good 
Roads Commission — Internal Improvement Scheme — The First Railroad — 
Financial Difficulties — Right of Way Changed to Wagon Road— Present 
Railroad Systems — Proposed Trolley Lines. 


State Troops and Enlistments from Montcalm County — Brief Mention of the 
Various Commands with Which Montcalm County Men Served — Rolls of 
Enlisted Men. 


Brief History of the First Schools in Each of the Townships of the County 
— County Organization — Commissioner of Schools— Stanton Schools — 
Schools at Howard City and Greenville. 



Congregational Churches — Baptist Churches — Methodist Episcopal Churches 

Free Methodist Churches — German Methodists — Protestant Episcopal 

-Church of Christ — Dunkard Churches — Danish Lutheran Churches 

pjical Lutheran Churches — Seventh-day Adventist Church — Catholic 


Organ izatl 
Michigan — RcV s 
fortieth Anniversi 


lh Settlers — Gowen — A Journey from Denmark to 
Large Parish — Gowcn's Business Interests — 
le's Pastorate. 


Free and Accepted Masons— ^^^H»|j^' , ^ta»tcrn Star — Independent Order 
of Odd Fellows — Daughters of SalwM|jpi>i3^f«^ncampment and Canton — 
Knights of Pythias— Danish Broth*fJwW,-'%i»My---£)an» s h Sisterhood- 
Modern Woodmen of America— Tribe ofrff^Jfl? flMlffi Arcanum— Royal 
Neighbors of America— Patrons of Husbandr^^|rai^|p|^ of the Republic. 
—Woman's Relief Corps. 'ftt#**l&*.~ 


Financial Changes During the County's History^Qj^^Jmbcr Era — The 
Agricultural Era— Individual History of the Acti^ ^j^ of the County. 

\& V 

Montcalm Reflector, the first Newspaper in the 
Other Papers Which Have Appeared and Som 
Connection with Them, 


Importance of Physician in the Communitj — H, 
Ethics — Montcalm County Medical Society — Ej 
tion — N urses — Optometrists. 

Brief Mention of 
ting Incidents in 

.£____ .__. 405 

d for Professional 
ititioners — Registra- 



Republicans Generally Successful in Montcalm County — Vote for Presiden- 
tial Electors — Constitutional Conventions — Amendments — State Senators — 
Representatives — County Treasurers — Sheriffs — County Clerks — Registers of 
Deeds — County Surveyors — Coroners — Township Supervisors — Population — 


Brief Mention of the Manufacturing and Mercantile Institutions of Mont- 
calm County, with Statistics. 


County Courts — District Courts — Circuit Courts — Early Juries — Circuit 
Judges — Prosecuting Attorneys — Probate Court — Circuit Court Commis- 
sioners — Attorneys Who Have Practiced in Montcalm County. 


Location — A Commercial Center — Incorporation — Meetings of Supervisors 
— The "Owl's Nest" — Opera House — County Seat Discussion — The Fire of 
1880 — Public Utilities — Marine Band — Mayors — Clerks — Prominent Early 


Its Beginning — Settlement — Early Unfavorable Conditions — Indian Trails — 
Indians — Survey — Early Settlers and Pioneers— Growth — Industries — Public 


First School Houses — -Early Teachers — First Graduates — Improvements in 
Buildings — Superintendents — Equipment — Present Faculty. 




Acreage 245 

Agricultural Societies __ 251 

Agriculture 245 

Altitudes 33 

Amble 243, 347, 457 

Amble, Rev. Ole 351, 354, 357 

Amsden 159 

Area of County 42 

Assessment, First : — 45 

Attorneys 465, 475 


Baldwin Lake 136 

Banks 65, 115, 385 

Baptist Churches 330 

Barley 247 

Bass Beach 106 

Bear Hunt, A 90 

Belvidere Township- 
Boundaries 60 

Election, First 60 

Lakes 34, 61 

Land Entries 61 

Location 60 

Organization of 60 

Schools 64, 300 

Settlement 62 

Soil 61 

Streams 33, 61 

Supervisors 435 

Texas 442 

Vote on Bond Issue 54 

Bench and Bar 465 

B'en-Hur, Tribe of 378 

Besemet Home " 221 


Bloomer Township — 

Assessment Roll, 1852 67 

Boundaries 66 

Churches 328, 334 

Doctors 412, 415 

Flection, First 66, 68 

Land Entries 66, 68 

Naming the Township __ 67 

Natural Features 66 

Organization of 66 

Pioneers 73 

Postoffice, First 74 

Schools 301 

Settlement 69 

Streams 33 

Supervisors 50, 436 

Taxes 442 

Vote on Bond Issue 54 

Bonds for Court House 54 

Bounties, Wolf 48 

Bushnell Township — 

Bear Hunt 90 

. Building, First . 92 

Crops, First 89 

Doctors 411 

Election, First 47, 84 

Famous Suit 93 

First Events 92 

Indians* 92 

Land Entries . 85 

Location . 84 

Officials, First 84 

Organization of 84 

Postoffice, First — ___ 92 

Road, First ___. 92 

Schools 301 

Settlement __„ 87" 


Bushncll Township — 

Streams 85 

Supervisors 436 

Taxes 442 

Vote on Bond Tssue 54 

Butternut 82, 328, 389, 456, 459, 460 

Butternut Drain 249 

Carson City — 

Banks 392 

Business Interests 76 

Cemetery 79 

Churches 348 

Doctors 415 

Enterprises, Early 75 

Fires 79 

Improvement Association 77 

Industries 452, 460 

Land Entries 75 

Location 74 

Lodges 360, 368 

Newspapers 403 

Officials 81 

Platted 75 

Population 77 

Prominent Citizens 79 

Railways 277 

Schools 514 

Telephones 459 

Valuations 77 

Case, George F. 499 

Catholic Churches 348 

Cato Township — 

Canal, An Early 101 

Description 95 

Doctors 413 

Election, First 95 

Lakes - 34 

Land Entries 96 

Lumbermen 102 

Naming of 96 

Natural Features 95 

Orchard, First 99 

Organization of 95 

Schools 302 

Settlement 97 

Soil 96' 

Streams 33 

Supervisors 50, 437 

Cato Township — 

Taxes 442 

Vote on Bond Issue! 54 

Cedar Lake 175, 348, 456 

Chapin, Clarence W 501 

Church of Christ 343 

Churches 145, 228, 237, 323 

Circuit Court Commissioners-- 474 

Circuit Courts __ 467 

Circuit Judges 470 

Civil War Record 282 

Clerks, County 434 

Coal Deposits 40 

Colby ' 236 

Commissioner of Schools 312 

Conger 221 

Congregational Churches 323 

Constitutions, State 431 

Coral 179, 310, 336, 379, 388, 

397, 419, 457, 459, 460 

Corey Lorenzo 500 

Corn 246 

Coroners 435 

Correction Line 34 

County Buildings 51 

County Clerks 434 

County Courts 465 

County Drains 249 

County Farm 58 

County Farm Agent 248 

County Medical Society 405 

County Normal 316 

County Seat Located 50 

County Surveyors 434 

County Treasurers 433 

Court House Bonds 54 

Court House History 51 

Courts 465 

Crystal Township — 

Creation of 107 

First Events 113 

Incidents 112 

Lakes 34, 108 

Land Entries 108 

Location 107 

Natural Features 107 

Schools 303 

Settlement 110 

Streams 33 

Supervisors 50, 436 


Crystal Township — 
Taxes 442 

Vote on Bond Issue 54 

Crystal Village — 

Banks 115, 390 

Breeders' Association 255 

Business Interests 116 

Churches _____326, 343 

Doctors 417 

Hopes 115 

Improvements 116 

Industries 455, 461 

Location 114 

Lodges 371 

Newspapers 402 

Settlement 114 

Summer Resorts 117 

Telephones 459 

Custer 123 


Danish Brotherhood 374 

Danish Lutheran Churches 344, 351 

Danish Settlers 351 

Danish Sisterhood 376 

Daughters of Rebekah 366 

Day Township — 

Churches 338 

Creation of „. 118 

Description 118 

Election, First 118 

Land Entries 119 

Name 118 

Schools __.__. : 334 

Settlement 120 

Streams 33 

Supervisors 437 

Taxes 442 

Vote on Bond Issue, 54 

Deaner, Charles 224 

Divine Family 131 

Doctors ,.—,-- 405 

Douglass Township — 

Creation of 124 

Description 124 

Doctors — 419 

Election, First 124 

Fatal Fire _. T 128 

Land Entries 125 

Douglass Township — 

Naming of — ,-, 124 

Officers, First ,. 124 

Pioneers _ 124 

Roads, Early -— 127 

Schools — . 304 

Streams 33 

Supervisors 439 

Taxes 442 

Vote on Bond Issue 54 

Drainage Commissioner — — 249 

Drains, County 249 

Drifts, Glacial — — ^- 36 

Dunkard Churches 343 


Early Danish Settlers 351 

Early Juries 469 

Early Medical Practitioners 407 

Early Roads 266 

Eastern Star, Order of - 361 

Edmore — 

Agricultural Association * 256 

Banks . 388, 390 

Churches 330, 339 

Commerce 173 

Doctors f 415 

Fires 173 

Industries 454, 461 

Location 172 

Lodges 363, 367, 375 

Mill 172 

Name 172 

Newspapers 401 

Officials 173, 174 

Plat _„,_._ 172 

Public Utilities 174 

Settlers 172 

Telephones _— 458 

Educational Interests 300 

Election Statistics 428 

Elections, First 47 

Elevations __ 33 

Enabling Act, County — 46 

Entrican -.129, 334, 370, 421 

Episcopal Church . 342 

Eureka Township — 

Cemetery 132 

Doctors 412 


Eureka Township — 

Early Settlers __1 1 134 

Election, First _47, 131 

First Events 132 

Highways 136 

Land Entries !__: 137 

Location 130 

Milling 133 

Name 130 

Organization of 130 

Roads, Early 133 

Saxton Entry 134 

Streams 33 

Supervisors 50, 435 

Taxes 442 

Vote on Bond Issue 54 

Evangelical Lutheran Church 345 

Evergreen Township — 

Churches 145 

Creation of f , 140 

Description 140 

Events, Notable 144 

Land Entries 140 

Mill __•_ 143 

Schools 305 

Settlement 142 

Streams 33 

Supervisors 50, 437 

Taxes 442 

Taxpayers, First 143 

Vote on Bond Issue 54 


Fairplain Township — 
Churches 345 

Creation of 149 

Description 149 

Doctors 413 

Election, First 47 

Land Entries 150 

Land Speculators 156 

Name 149 

Natural Features 149 

Residents in 1850 157 

Schools 305 

Settlement 152 

Supervisors __50, 438 

Taxes 1 __' 1 442 

Vote on Bond Issue ' 1 54 

Fairs 252 

Farm Agent, County . 248 

Farm Statistics 42, 245 

Farmers' Institute _ . 258 

Fenn, Oscar ___256, 498 

Fenwick 158, 370, 421 

Ferris Township — 

Creation of 161 

Description of 161 

Doctors _ 423 

First Events 166 

Land Entries ' 162 

Natural Features 161 

Reminiscences 166 

Schools 308 

Settlement ._ 163 

Supervisors 50, 438 

Taxes 442 

Vote on Bond Issue _ 54 

Ferris Village 167 

First Settlers 44 

Fishville 148 

Flat River 185. 250 

Fraternities 360 

Free and Accepted Masons 360 

Free Methodist Churches 340 

Gardner, Daniel M. 499 

Geology 35 

German Methodists 341 

Gilbert, Giles 498 

Glacial Drifts 36 

Good Roads Movement 250 

Gowen 192, 333, 351, 356, 420 

Grand Army of the Republic 381 

Grand Jury, First 469 

Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad__ 277 

Grand Trunk Railroad 277 

Grange, The 380 

Greenville — 

Banks ■_ 386 

Beginnings 505 

Churches 323, 330, 334, 

340, 342, 344, 348, 513 

County Seat __ 50 

Doctors _— _ 407 

Early Conditions __ 505 

Early Roads 506 


Greenville — 

Fair Association 253 

Good Roads Association 272 

Improvements — 512 

Indian Trails .__'_. 506. /, 

Indians — - 508 

Industries 443, 461, 512 

Lodges ____369, 372, 374, 376, 379, 382 

Newspapers ■---- ^94 

Pioneers — 510 

Potato Market 247, 513 

Public Institutions 513 

Railroads — 277 

Schools 317 

Settlers, First ______ 505 

Supervisors 440 

Survey, Early 510 

Taxes 442 

Telephones 459 

Vote on Bond Issue — 54 


Hamilton Family 152 

Hawley, E. D. 502 

Highways 265 

Home Township — 

Creation of 168 

Description of 168 

Doctors 414 

First Events — — 171 

Land Entries 169 

Natural Features 168 

Old Settlers 171 

Schools 171, 309 

Settlement 170 

Supervisors 438 

Taxes 442 

Vote on Bond Issue 54 

Horse Breeders' Association.. 256 

Howard City — 

Agricultural Association 254 

Banks — — — 387 

Besemet Home — 221 

Churches 331, 345 

Doctors 417 

Early Growth - 211 

Early Stores 212 

Election, First 212 

Fairs 254 

Howard City — ,...-. 

Fires — 215 

Incorporation : — - 212 

Industries ,-456, 462 

Lodges 361, 374, 378 

Lumber Interests 213 

Newspapers --- 400 

Olden Days — — 213 

Platted — _ 211 

Present Business Interests _ 220 

. Railroads __ — 220 

Schools 316 

Settlers — - 214 

Waterworks _■ 219 


Improved Lands ___— — 245 

Independent Order of Odd Fellows 365 

Indian Trails '—- : 265 

Industries _____443, 460 

Internal Improvements 272 


Jail History __'__ 51 

Judges, Circuit _— — 470 

Judges, Probate 473 

Juries, Early ______ 469 


Kendallville — — 206 

Knights of Pythias — 372 


Lakes 33 

Lakeview — 

Agricultural Society _ — 254 

Banks 390, 391 

Business Interests . 105 

Churches 327, 340, 341 

Doctors 408 

First Events — 104 

Indians . 103 

Industries 453, 462 

Location 103 

Lodges , 365, 378 

Newspapers • 401 

Telephones __ 458 


Land Entries, First in County 49 

Langston 207, 397, 417 

Lawyers 465, 475 

LeDu, Stalham W. 181 

Legislative Act Defining County 44 

Lincoln Family • 187 

Little Denmark Danish Lutheran 

Congregation 351 

Live Stock 246 

Local Option Question 431 

Lodges ■__■ 360 

Lumber 65, 203, 210, 213 


Banks 392 

Business Interests 123 

Churches 339 

Doctors — 417 

Fire .— 122 

Growth of .- 123 

Industries 463 

Location 122 

Lodges 368, 377, 384 

Name 122 

Newspapers — _ 402 

Settlement 122 

Telephones ___t. 458 


Maple Hill 199, 347 

Maple Valley 181, 419 

Maple Valley Township — 

Churches 338 

Creation of _— 176 

Election, First 176 

Land Entries 176 

Natural Drainage 179 

Schools — 309 

Settlers 178 

Supervisors 438 

Taxes 442 

Vote on Bond Issue 54 

Masonic Order 360 

Medical Profession 405 

Methodist Episcopal Churches 334 

Military Record 282 

Miller's Station 160, 457 

Mills _1 133, 143, 145, 

172, 180, 210, 237 

Miner Family 70 

Modern Woodmen of America 376 

Montcalm County Soldiers 282 

Montcalm County Telephone Asso- 
ciation 458 

Montcalm Township — 

Churches 346 

Creation of 44 

Description of 184 

Election, First 45, 47 

Lakes 185 

Land Entries 185 

Officials, First 45, 184 

Original Township 184 

Residents in 1851 192 

Schools 310 

Settlers 187 

Streams 33, 185 

Supervisors 50, 439 

Taxes 442 

Township Meeting, First 189 

Valuations, Early 45 

Vote on Bond Issue 54 

Moraines 36 


Naming of County 46 

Natural Drainage 33 

Nevins Lake ; __ 327 

New Home 171 

Newspapers 394 

Nurses 426 


Oats 245 

Odd Fellows 365 

Optometrists 427 

Order of the Eastern Star 361 

Organization of County 43 

Organization of State 43 


Patrons of Husbandry 380 

Pere Marquette Railroad 278 

Personal Property Valuations 49 

^ x ^«*. 


Physicians 405 

Pierson — 

Doctors 413 

First Stores 198 

Industries 456 

Location 198 

Platted 198 

Pierson Township — 

Churches 341, 343 

Creation of 50, 194, 486 

Description of 194 

Doctors 415 

First Events 197 

Lakes 34 

Land Entries 196 

Settlement J— 196 

Supervisors 50, 439 

Taxes 442 

Vote on Bond Issue 54 

Pine Township — 

Agriculture 204 

Creation of 201 

Description of 201 

Doctors 419 

Early Stores - 206 

Election, First 201 

Land Entries 202 

Lumber Interests 203 

Postoffice, First 205 

Schools 206, 310 

Soil 202 

Streams .__^_ 33 

Supervisors - 438 

Taxes 442 

Vote on Bond Issue 54 

Pioneer Days 261 

Point Richards 129 

Political History 428 

Poor, Care of the 58 

Population 441 

Potatoes 245, 247 

Present Railroads 277 

Presidential Votes 430 

Press, The .- 394 

Probate Court 472 

Probate Judges r 473 

Prosecuting Attorneys 472 

Protestant Episcopal Church 342 

Railroads _214, 220, 273 

Rainfall •_ 40 

Real Estate Valuations 49 

Registers of Deeds 434 

Registration of Doctors 416 

Representatives 433 

Reynolds, Montgomery A 500 

Reynolds Township : — 

Description of 208 

Land Entries 208 

Lumber Interests 210 

Mills 210 

Organization of 208 

Schools 310 

Soil 210 

Streams 33, 210 

Supervisors 437 

Taxes 442 

Vote on Bond Issue 54 

Richland Township — 

Breeders' Association 256 

Description of 222 

Doctors 423 

Election, First 222 

Lakes 34, 222 

Land Entries 223 

Natural Features 222 

Organization of 222 

Schools 311 

Settlers 224 

Streams 33, 222 

Supervisors 439 

Taxes 442 

Vote on Bond Issue 54 

Rivers 33 

Roads, Improvement of _ 250 

Rock Formations .— 35 

Royal Arcanum 379 

Royal Neighbors of America 379 

Rye 245, 247' 

Sand Lake 200 

School Commissioner 312 

Schools 64, 203, 210, 213, 300 

Secret Societies 360 


Senators, State 432 

Settlers, The First 44 

Shanty Plains 158 

Sheridan — 

Banks 389 

Business Interests 147 

Churches 324 

Doctors 147, 417 

Early Business Interests 146 

Industries 456, 463 

Location 145 

Lodges 364, 371 

Mills 145 

Officials 148 

Population 145 

Railways _, 277 

Telephones 458 

Sheriffs 433 

Sidney — 

Beginning 236 

Business Interests — '. 238 

Churches 237, 329 

Industries '____ 237, 457 

Lodges 237, 375 

Mill 237 

Settlement 236 

Sidney Township — 

Churches 327 

Doctors 413 

Election, First 229 

Forest Fire - 233 

Land Entries '. 234 

Location 229 

Natural Features 229 

Organization of, 229 

Schools _ :_ 31.1 

Settlement . 230 

Supervisors 50, 440 

Taxes 1 442 

Tornado 230 

Vote on Bond Issue 54 

Six Lakes 65, 362, 387, 411, 417, 457, 458 

Soil Types 41 

Soldiers from This County 282 

South Park — 136 

Stanton — 

Banks 386 

Churches 323, 331, 348 

Clerks 495 

Stanton — 

County Scat 51, 487 

Doctors 414 

Early Citizens 495 

Fires 491 

Forestry Association 493 

Incorporation 485 

Industries 449, 463 

Location 484 

Lodges 365, 381, 383 

Marine Band 493 

Mayors 494 

Newspapers 396 

Officials 494 

Opera House 490 

''Owl's Nest" 488 

Population 485 

Potato Market 247 

Public Utilities 493 

Schools 313 

Supervisors 441 

Taxes 442 

Telephones 458 

Vote on Bond Issue 54 

State Highway Commission 271 

State Organization 43 

State Road, First 268 

State Senators 432 

Statistical 428 

Stevens, Thomas N. 503 

Streams of the County 33 

Sumnerville 64 

Supervisors 435 

Supervisors, County Board 48 

Surface Features of County 33, 41 

Surveyors, County 434 


Taxation, First 45 

Taxes 441 

Telephones 116 

Temperature 37 

Terminal Moraines 36 

Topography of the County 33 

Trails, Indian 265 

Treasurers, County 433 

Tribe of Ben-Hur 378 

Trolley Lines. Proposed 281 



Trufant 180, 338, 344, 

375, 391, 413, 418, 455, 459, 463 

Turner, Nelson M. 497 

Turner, William F 497 

Union Telephone Company 458 

Valuations, 1850 49 

Vestaburg — 

Banks 391 

Business Interests 229 

Churches 228, 343 

Doctors 420 

Industries 455, 464 

Location 226 

Lodges 369 

Name 226 

Settlement 226 

Telephones 458 

Vickeryville 93, 459, 464 

Votes for Governor 428 


Weather Facts A 37 

Weatherwax, Capt. John M 496 

Weatherwax, Jacob 501 

Westville 123 

Wheat 245 

Whitefish Lake 199 

Willett, James W 502 

W r infield Township — 

Description of 239 

Land Entries 240 

Organization of 239 

Schools 311 

Settlers 241 

Streams 33 

Supervisors 439 

Taxes 442 

Vote on Bond Issue 54 

Wolf Bounties 48 

Woman's Relief Corps 382 

Wood, Edwin K. 503 

Wood Lake 199 

Wyman __174, 422 

Youngs, S. Perry ^__ 55 






Adams, Charles II., D. V. S 500 

Adams, William E., D. V. S 239 

Aelick, Prof. Earl J 243 

Allchin, Vir C 359 

Allen, Albert 93 

Almack, Orange S 95 

Almy, Albert A 565 

Anderson, Simon 102 

Arbogast, George A 206 

Atbogast, M. C 460 


Bacon, Arthur E. 356 

Bacon, Melvin C. 356 

Bailey, Frank W 50 

Baird, Mrs. D. H 309 

Ball, Fred 194 

Bannen, Richard 318 

Banton, Edwin R 394 

Banton, George R 389 

Barber, Leslie T 131 

Barclay, James 632 

Baty, James 324 

Baty, Thomas 284 

Behrenwald, Henry C 594 

Bellows, Elliott O 256 

Bennett, Jeremiah A 425 

Bennett, William R 422 

Bissell, Lewis L 595 

Black, Ernest A 464 

Bluemly, Herman R 548 

Blumberg, Charles W 574 

Blumberg, George I 573 

Bogert, Orson 344 

Bollinger, Rev. Samuel 452 

Bower, Horace L., M. D 36 

Bowman, Edward J. 592 

Boylan, Nathan O 204 

Bracey, Lewis E 159 

Braman, Charles H 501 

Braman, George 585 

Braman, George A 493 

Brice, John N 121 

Briggs, Fred D 416 

Briggs, O. A 667 

Brooks, Edgar S 229 

Brown, Jolin M.__ 590 

Brown, Raymond A , 75 

Brown, William A 312 

Bullock, Sid V 105 

Burgess, Charles O 657 

Butler, Benjamin F 173 


Cadwell, George W 160 

Campbell, John W 69 

Caris, Clarence__ 507 

Carothers, R. Arthur 84 

Case, Seymour J 475 

Caswell, Francis S 115 

Chamberlin, Fred J 111 

Chambers, Mrs. Mary L. (Barber). 642 

Chandler, Chester E._ 380 

Church, Frank P.__„ 302 

Clark, Eli S 122 

Clark, John W 196 

Clark, William M 474 

Clement, Clifton H 51 

Clement, John N 518 

Cliffe, Thomas J , 417 

Closson, Cornelius F 536 


Cole, Fred J 39 

Collins, Irwin M 540 

Collins, John C 313 

Collins, William H 114 

Comden, George F 401 

Comden, Samuel J. ! '• 429 

Comstock, Jared V 570 

Cook, Prof. Aral E 331 

Corder, James 542 

Corey, Allen L., M. D 62 

Cornell, George E _, _ 419 

Couchman, George D 644 

Courier, J. Watson 271 

Crandall, E. L 364 

Crawford, Bert C 108 

Crockett, W. V 638 

Crooks, Thomas G 427 

Cross, Charles II 559 

Culver, Chester R 551 

Cummings, Edward C 67 

Cummings Frank F 509 

Cummings, Otto 635 

Curtis, Fred E 604 

Curtis, Lorenzo D 100 

Cutler, Roy A 270 


Dailey, James A 150 

Danforth, Mortimer E., M. D 664 

Dasef, John W 560 

Davis, Thomas D 334 

Davis, William F _'___ 358 

Dean, Diz W _._ 169 

Dean, Fred L '_ 369 

Despelter, John C._ __ 617 

DeYoung, Cornelius _ 254 

DcYoung, James 467 

Dickerson. Allen B._____J_.__ 71 

Dickinson, Charles F . 119 

Dilley, D. Darwin "1_ 650 

Dolloff, LaForest H ______„_ 646 

Dow, Thomas D„ D. D, S..:______ 247 

Drews, William E 614 

Drummohd, Clark J 1_ 213 

Durkee, Ervie E 280 

Durst, Jacob W 1. '_ T ___.._ 290 

Dyer, Clarence I '. 639 


Ede, Albert E 296 

Edwards, George ^ 258 

Ehle, Oscar E 1 269 

Eitelbuss, George, W 383 

Eitelbuss, Mrs. Mary S 382 

Fldridge, Bert A 486 

Eldridge, Eli A 228 

Emerson, Robert F 232 

Evans, Robert 411 


Farnsworth, Lauriston B 189 

Fender, John H 209 

Finnegan, John 407 

Fitzpatrick, John M 391 

Fleck, Roswell 408 

French, Charles W 96 

Friedt, James W 199 

Frisbie, B. Stephen, M. D 237 

Frost, James 633 

Fry, Randall 462 

Fuller, Thomas F 338 

Fuller, William H 265 

Fults, John C 299 

Gafficld, Benson L 480 

Gaffield, John W 424 

Gallagher, William J 235 

Galloup, Prof. Lewis B. 367 

Galloup, Orland W 373 

Gates, Clarence M._ ' 526 

Gates, Merton D 472 

Gibbs, George R 245 

Gibbs, Jay H - 40 

Gibbs, Lucius II 112 

Gibson, Frank S 607 

Golden, John A 469 

Gooby, Matthew '___ 337 

Goodwin. Andrew B._._____ 288 

Graham, Byron A 461 

Graham, William 534 

Greenhoe, Edwin D 282 

Grill, Martin A 305 

Griswold, Warren G.__ 220 

Gunther, Fred. Sr __ 242 



llaack, Christ F 586 

jlullctt, John W 116 

llanchett, Joseph _: 352 

Hansen, Carl F 283 

Hansen, Englebrecht 610 

Hansen, Frank G '__ 266 

Hansen, ITans 580 

Hansen, Hans L — 581 

Hansen, J. William G., D. V. S 273 

Hansen, Jens P 645 

Hansen, Lars P ' '_ 267 

Hansen, Oscar T 295 

Hardy, G. W " 582 

TTarriman, George F 341 

Harris, William A 327 

llartt, Cicero W 543 

Haskins, James B 326 

Hatchew, Philip J 606 

Hawley, Charles 376 

Heisler, TI. E 375 

Hempstead, Capt. Henry M 80 

Henry, Charles E 126 

Herman, George 601 

llerold, John A 308 

Herrick, Adelbcrt A.___ 368 

Ilerrick, Charles R 525 

Herrick, Walter G 510 

Hicks, Charles I 556 

Higbee, Chancellor E.__ 374 

Hill, Augustus F 184 

Hiller, John N 572 

Hillis, George T 451 

TTillis, Joseph C 515 

Hillis, Robert J 443 

Hinds, Henry II 128 

Hinkley, Leon L 520 

Holcomb, Albert J 445 

Holcomb, George W 444 

Holmes, Harry C 170 

Houghton, Olon J 531 

Howell, William E 436 

Howorth, Harvey E 336 

Hubbard, Melvin C, M. D 485 

Hunt, Lyman _ 385 

Hunt, Mortimer A 523 


Ingraham, Henry L L_ 577 

Isham, J. Frank '_ 379 


Jackson, Thomas E 441 

Jamieson, William C 172 

Jarstfer, Leroy K 554 

Jensen, Niels 300 

Johnson, Fred A., M. D.____ ___ 666 


Keith, William W 330 

Kemp, Ernest A 398 

Kennedy, Salem F : 178 

Kent, Silas 654 

Ketchum, Serenus D 42 

Kimball, Jesse B 553 

Kindell, Edwin J 624 

Kipp, Howard C 253 

Kirker, William J "456 

Kirtland, Horace L.„ — 167 

Kittle, E. A 405 

Klees, John 505 

Klees, Joseph .__ 505 

Klees, Peter A 497 

Knapp, Almeron N.__ '. 538 

Knapp, James H 205 

Knapp, Orlando J 316 

Kireeger, Julius '_ 463 

Krohn, Isaac 123 

Krum, George A. '. — 46*8 


LaDu, Charles W 203 

LaDu, Rev. Stalham W ■_ 210 

Larsen, Chris ._ 634 

Lascelle, Joseph M , 238 

Lee, Lewis N " 521 

Lester, George H — 568 

Lester, Will H., M. D.____ 277 

Lewis, John _________ 89 

Lincoln, Edward W — _— 620 

Lisk, Solomon — 323 



Long, Sherman 399 

Loper, Marvin L 627 

Lovely, William H 103 

Lower, R. Earl 261 

Lunn, William P 648 

Lutterloh, Henry 208 


McClellan, Spencer 616 

McCloskey, J. E i 310 

McConkie, M. J 613 

McCrea, ^Jaco|b, 545 

McDonald, Angus H 400 

McGowan, John 622 

McHattie, William 384 

McNutt, R. D 147 


Mabic, Charles A 351 

Maddhes, George H '292 

Mader, William 388 

Madison, Albert 473 

Madsen, John 587 

Martin, Josiah 550 

Marvin, Charles H 641 

Mayes, Delbert 528 

Meach, Charles L 183 

Merrifield, Nicholas C 430 

Messenger, Judge Christopher C.__ 34 

Miel, Judge Lucas M 192 

Miller, Charles M 140 

Miller, George VV 652 

Miller, John C 658 

Miller, Noble W., M. D 320 

Miller, Oscar C 77 

Mills, William H 583 

Minard, George II 466 

Miner, James • 354 

Miner, M. J 348 

Miner, Uriah 355 

Mitchell, John H 470 

Moffatt, Edwin E.._, 275 

Moulton, Ralph W 301 

Mulick, Edward G , 272 

Musson, Thomas W 578 


Nefl, Jacob M 156 

Neff, Sherman E 163 

Nelson, Judge Francis 598 

Nelson, John A 307 

Nelson, Oscar E 297 

Neve, Robert 404 

Nevins, Harlan P 437 

NewbroughV J. C 176 

Newcomb, Solomon B 319 

Newhouse, Newton W 55 

Newton, Rudolph 626 

x\ickerson, Charles R 502 

Noah, Asher R 465 

Noah, Clarence A 596 

Noah, Joshua II 448 

Noah, William 304 

Norton. Bernard 291 


O'Brien, Fred U 332 

O'Donald, Albert 311 

O'Donald, Richard II :_ 44 

Oswald, Simon 298 

Otis, Rev. Norman L 377 


Fakes, Fred A 662 

P r arker, Rev. Charles 148 

Paulson, Brede A 198 

Peabody, George VV 621 

Peck, Ford S 361 

Peck, Mrs. Mina 361 

Peck, Samuel D 609 

Penny, John L 285 

Peterman, William II 447 

Petersen, Peter 264 

Phelps, W. S 629 

Pickell, Fred S 286 

Pierce, Harrison 342 

Pierce. Warren B 530 

Pierson, John W. S 136 

Pierson, George J 651 

Pintler, Raymond A 481 

Piatt, Frank 494 

Piatt, Hezekiah 496 

Potter, Thomas J 73 


Preston, Hubert S 222 

Prevette, George C 154 

Prout, J. H 109 

Pugsley, William H 488 

Purdon, James, M. D 547 


Quigg, John . 263 


kader, Henry 383 

Ranney, Ellis W 143 

Ranney, Frederick E 47 

Rasmusen* Willard C 647 

Rasmussen, Nels P 294 

Rasmussen, William E 152 

Reader, Fred B 589 

Reed, David C 611 

Reynolds, Claire C 660 

Reynolds, John 293 

Rice, Harvey W 76 

Richards, Charles S 187 

Richardson, Albert A 374 

Ridley, James T 79 

Riley, Charles W 260 

Robinson, James W 597 

Rowland, Oren A.____ 281 

Rowley, Edwin S 603 

Rule, Zacharias D 230 

Russell, A. Noah 104 

Rutan, Eugene 33 

Rutan, Manning 48 

Rutherford, Ernest A 268 


St. Clair, Marshall A 514 

Sanford, Otis A 226 

Sayles, Cyrenius C, M. D 512 

Schermerhorn, Lucius B 393 

Schroder, Martin 262 

Serviss, John H.-__' 141 

Sexton, William H., Jr 434 

Sheehan, Rev. John J 135 

Sherd, Marshall D 362 

Sherwood, Charles O - 517 

Sherwood, Mrs. Emma C 347 

Shook, A. N 195 

Silver, Bert C. E 90 

Siple, George W 322 

Skarritt, Alfred F 124 

Skeoch, J. E 207 

Slawson, Earle B 98 

Smith, Herman W 395 

Smith, Rayburn B., M. D 218 

Smith, William B 175 

Snow, Bert R 628 

Spangler, Benjamin L 340 

Spencer, John P ,. 454 

Squire, Eli 387 

Staines, William J 618 

Starr, Harry C 637 

Stearns, Alfred L 53 

Stearns, Wesley J 240 

Stebbins, Allen E 106 

Stebbins, Arthur M.___ 1 118 

- Stebbins, Chester H 328 

Stebbins, Ensign B 224 

Steere, Joseph B 409 

Steere, William M 439 

Stevens, Frank A 535 

Stevenson, Morris W 60 

Stoddard, Elmer E 132 

Stokes, Edgar A 615 

Stone, Albert O 498 

Stone, Luther R. 656 

Strait, John B 216 

Strait, William E 495 

Summers, S. Clay 631 

Sutton, Samuel 412 

Swarthout, Charles 215 

Swarthout, Scott 162 

Sweet, Clarence A 249 

Tallman, W. A 655 

Taylor, Arthur J 83 

Taylor, Frank A 413 

Taylor, H. W 151 

Taylor, J. Philo, D. D. S 133 

Taylor, J. W 278 

Teed, Lemuel J 490 

Thurlby, John F 513 

Tower, R. J 134 

Towle, Delos A — _ 57 

Train, James K 144 


Urie, James W 345 

Verplanck, James H 366 


Wagar, Hon. Edgar S 64 

Wagar, Harry E 38 

Waldo, Otto C 201 

Wandel, John H 190 

Wanink, William W 593 

Ward, Lewis 181 

Warts, William O 508 

Waters, David L 306 

Weeks, Clair W 88 

Wheeler, Wilson 649 

White, Charles M 363 

Wickes, George P 636 

Williamson, Francis G 186 

Wilson, George M 458 

Wilson, Oscar W 414 

Winter, Thomas B 177 

Wood, William A 432 

Woods, Joseph 558 

Worden, Adelbert 588 

Worden, Thomas W 623 

Wright, Cass T . 45 

Wright, Will L 233 

Wyckoff, F. M 274 


Youdan, J. Claude 315 

Young, Amnion E. T 477 

Young, John P., M. D 492 

Youngman, Niel H 567 





The surface of Montcalm county, which- is extremely varied, is cov- 
ered by many small streams and lakes. Originally, it was covered by dense 
forests of pine, with some hardwood timber interspersed here and there, 
but these monarchs of the forests have almost altogether disappeared and 
in their place are hundreds of fertile farms that produce the good things 
of the earth. The farmer has taken the place of the lumberman and the 
plow that of the axe. 

From Bloomer township, which stands about one hundred and fifty 
feet alwve the level of the Great Lakes, the surface rises to the height of 
three hundred and fifty feet above the same level in Home, Belvidere, Cato 
and Winfield townships. The city of Greenville has an altitude of two 
hundred and fifty feet above Lake Michigan, which is somewhat less per- 
haps than the general level of the county. 

The principal streams of the county are Flat river, Little Muskegon 
and Pine rivers, Tamarack and Fish creeks. The first rises in Six Lakes 
and other lakelets and streams in the northern part of the county and in 
the southern part of Mecosta county, and, flowing through Belvidere, 
Douglass, Pine, Montcalm and Eureka townships, affords considerable mill 
power which at different times has been utilized to some extent. The Little 
Muskegon and Tamarack creek, its tributary, flow through Cato, Winfield 
and Reynolds townships. Pine river, in Richland, and Fish creek, in Day, 
Evergreen, Crystal and Bloomer townships, flow to the southeast while 
passing through the county and finally mingle their waters, the former with 
those of the Saginaw river and Lake Huron, the latter with the Maple and 
Grand rivers and Lake Michigan. 

The lakes of Montcalm are numerous, there being more than one hun- 



dred and sixty in number. The principal ones are Crystal and Duck lakes 
in Crystal township ; Rock and Bass lakes in Richland ; Tamarack lake in 
Cato ; Town-Line lake between Cato and Belvidere ; and White Fish lake 
in Pierson. 


Montcalm county possesses one peculiarity in the first correction line. 
This line, in its course across the lower peninsula, parallel to and north 
sixty miles from the base line, passes between townships to and n north, 
or through the center of Montcalm county, from east to west. The neces- 
sity of this aaid of other correction lines will be perceived when it is remem- 
bered that if north and south lines are true meridians they will not be 
parallel, but will approach one another or converge toward the north. Tn 
fact, if continued sufficiently far, they would meet in one point at the 
North Pole. The convergence in a single township is small, though quite 
perceptible, the actual excess in length of its south over its north line being, 
in Michigan, about three rods. The townships north of the base line, 
therefore, become narrower than the six miles width with which they com- 
mence, by that amount, and those south of it become as much wider than 
six miles, jf continued too great a distance this narrowing or widening 
would cause serious inconvenience, and to obviate this effect of the curva- 
ture of the earth's surface it is found necessary to establish, at stated inter- 
vals, standard parallels commonly called correction lines. These are usually 
sixty miles apart, though in some localities it has been found convenient 
to establish them nearer together. Michigan has five correction lines, all 
north of the base line; the first, as before mentioned being the one which 
passes through Montcalm county. On these parallels, which form new base 
lines, fresh measurements are made from the principal meridian, and the 
corners of new townships are fixed six miles apart as on the original base 
line. This method of procedure not only takes up the error due to con- 
vergency of meridians but checks and arrests errors which from want of 
precision or carelessness, are likely to occur in the surveys already made. 

The effects of running the first correction lines will be noticed by 
referring to any outline map 6f Montcalm county. Tts position is indicated 
by the offset which commences there in the north and south lines. Thus 
the east lines of Ferris and Richland townships are carried nearly half a 
mile to the westward of the line which forms the eastern boundary of 
Bloomer and Crystal townships, and these offsets continue on the same line 
to Take Michigan. 



In the southern peninsula of Michigan the rock formations present less 
variety of features than in the northern peninsula, and are much less open 
to view, because of the greater thickness of the glacial deposits. None of 
ihe rock formations in the southern peninsula have been subjected to such 
upheaval and folding as characterize the formations in the western part of 
the northern peninsula. They all lie in nearly horizontal position with a 
gentle dip toward the center <*f the peninsula. The beds of shale, sand- 
stone and limestone which outcrop in the eastern part of the northern pen- 
insula, also dip toward the center of the southern peninsula, and pass 
beneath the beds which form the surface of that peninsula. 

The rock formations of the southern peninsula range in age from the 
upper part of the Silurian, through the Devonian, to the lower part of the 
Carboniferous, and consist of a series of limestone, shale and sandstone 
beds with which are associated deposits of coal, gypsum and salt, each in 
its own particular horizons. The arrangement of the several formations has 
been likened to the piling up of plates or saucers in a series of diminishing 
size, and diminishing amount of dishing from bottom to top. The upper- 
most and youngest formation, though resting on those which precede it in 
age, does not stand above some of the outlying parts. 

The rock formations in Montcalm county belong to those of the Car- 
boniferous age and to the particular division known as the Saginaw forma- 
tion. The surface formations in Montcalm county include the moraines, 
both landlaid and waterlaid, bowlder-clay plains, outwash plains and sandy 
drift. There is a fringe, slightly less than six miles wide, beginning in the 
southeastern corner of the county and gradually tapering off to the extreme 
northeastern corner, of bowlder-clay plains or till plains which were 
formed under the ice sheet. The soil ranges from clayey to sandy loam 
and from first-rate to good second-rate quality. North of Carson City, 
however, this fringe is broken by a strip of outwash plains where the sand 
or gravel was spread out by water escaping from the ice sheet. Here the 
soil is usually light and requires intelligent cultivation. There is also a 
narrow strip of outwash plains between the two moraines, one west of 
the bowlder-clay plains already referred to, and the other just east of 
Stanton and extending north and south ; throughout the entire length of 
the county. Still a third outwash plain is bounded roughly on the east 
by the Grand Rapids & Indiana railroad and extends west to the county 



Two of the principal moraines of Montcalm county have already been 
referred to. The Montcalm county moraines, which are landlaid alto- 
gether, consist of rolling or gently undulating glacial deposits formed at 
the border of the ice sheet. The soil is quite variable within a short space 
and ranges from very stony material to heavy clay with a few stones and 
is usually fair to very good farm land. There is one moraine of this char- 
acter which is bounded roughly by a line drawn from Greenville to Gowen 
and tapering almost to a point by straight lines some three or four miles 
north of the Montcalm county correction line. Another moraine lies in 
the northern part of Pine and the southern part of Cato townships. 

A strip running through Stanton, north and south, four or five miles 
wide at the southern line of the county and tapering to the width of the 
city of Stanton, then gradually broadening out to the northwest to the Pere 
Marquette railroad, consists of bowlder-clay plains, already described. 

Resides all these formations, there are several areas west and north- 
west of Stanton, consisting of sandy drift, or sandy deposits not definitely 
formed as outwash from the ice border, and in part deposited under the 
ice. The soil of these areas is variable but usually is second rate. Areas 
of this character may be found in the western part of Douglass township, 
in Pine township, in the southern part of Cato and in Maple Valley town- 


The glacial drift which covers so deeply much of the rock surface of 
the southern peninsula consists of a more or less commingled mass of 
boulders and small stones in a sandy or clayey matrix, though it differs 
greatly in constitution and texture from place to place. It was brought in 
largely, if not wholly, by an ice sheet or continental glacier which moved 
southwestward from the highlands of Canada across the several Great 
Lakes basins, carrying in it the earthy and stony material gathered from 
the loose surface material of the districts over which it was moving. The 
Canadian highlands were thus extensively denuded of soil and subsoil, 
while the district south of the Great Lakes was correspondingly enriched 
by the glacial action. The average thickness of the drift in the southern 
peninsula is about three hundred feet. There are places near the border 
of Lake Michigan where the drift is known to exceed six hundred feet. 


Places in the high interior of the north part of the peninsula may have 
over one thousand feet. 

There is evidence that the drift of this peninsula is not the product of 
a single ice invasion, but instead, of two or more invasions, between which 
were long periods of warm climate such as prevails today. Between the 
deposits of glacial material are soils and peat beds and other indications 
of the presence of vegetation such as would thrive under a genial climate. 

Among the most prominent of the topographic features are the belts 
of rolling or hummocky surfaced drift called moraines, which have already 
been discussed. These belts have been followed in some cases for scores 
and even hundreds of miles in their broad sweep around the basins of the 
Great Lakes, and across other districts. They were formed at places where 
the edge of the ice held a nearly constant position for a long period, and, 
by a continual advance to this line, brought in the material which furnished 
the irregular surfaced moraines. The uneven surface of the moraines is 
probably due largely to differences in the dirtiness of the ice. The dirtiest 
parts upon melting would furnish the material for the hummocks, while 
the cleanest parts would fall short of building up the surface and leave 
corresponding depressions. It is probable also that some inequality of 
surface is due to disturbances of material by the ice movement. 

With the exception of a small area in the southwestern part of Mont- 
calm county, where the altitude is from six hundred to eight hundred feet, 
the altitude of the county varies from eight hundred to one thousand feet 
above sea level. 


The climate of the lower peninsula of Michigan is insular to a marked 
degree on account of the Great Lakes. Large bodies of water tend to 
equalize the nearby land temperatures, and this is especially true of the 
lower peninsula, where the effect of the great cold waves sweeping down' 
from the northwest is modified by the warmer water of the Great Lakes, 
the movement of these anti-cyclones, or cold waves, is often deflected by 
the great bodies of water. 

The effect of the Great Lakes, particularly that of Lake Michigan, in 
modifying the temperature effect of cold anti-cyclones and warm cyclonic 
storms, makes for lower Michigan a more equable and less extreme climate 
than obtains in the states of similar latitude on the other side of Lake 
Michigan. This influence is very marked in the immediate vicinity of Lake 


Michigan, although apparent in all parts of the lower peninsula. In Wis- 
consin winter temperatures have frequently continued from ten to twenty 
degrees lower during periods of extreme cold weather than in lower Michi- 
gan, owing to the warming influence of the lake which intervenes between 
the two. In spring the influence of Lake Michigan particularly, and all of 
the Great Lakes in general, is of untold value in modifying the eastward 
sweep of early hot waves and late cold waves. In summer the refreshing 
southwest to west winds are making the entire shore bordering on Lake 
Michigan one continuous summer resort. 


The January mean temperature for a period from 1886 to 1911, in 
Montcalm county, varies from 22 to 23 degrees, while the July mean tem- 
perature varies from 69 to 72 degrees. The mean annual temperature of 
lower Michigan as a whole is about 46 degrees, ranging from 49 degrees in 
the extreme southwestern part to 42 degrees in the extreme northeasterly 
portion. The average minimum or day temperature ranges from about 82 
degrees in summer to 28 degrees in winter, while the average minimum or 
night temperature in summer is approximately 57 degrees and 12 degrees 
in winter. The highest known temperature in Montcalm county from 1886 
to 191 1, was 100 degrees and the lowest known temperature during this 
period was 26 degrees below zero. 

Michigan is seldom visited by tornadoes. The most destructive storms 
of this character occurred on May 25, 1896, in Oakland county and at 
Orner, Arenac county, on May 24, 1897. In recent years the most destruc- 
tive tornado occurred at Owosso on November 11, 191 1, and at the very 
unusual hour of about eleven p. m. 

Long heated spells in summer or abnormally protracted cold ones in 
winter are very unusual. Historical ones occurred in the summer of 191 1 
and the winter of 1899. The continued high temperatures prevailing dur- 
ing the latter part of June, in 19H, were phenomenal and had never before 
been equalled as far as length of time is concerned. On the other hand, 
the phenomenal cold weather which occurred during February, 1899, 
marked the longest period of low temperature known. A strong factor 
in determining the continued cold of February, 1899, was the freezing over, 
or rather the covering with fields of rubble ice, of Lake Michigan, thus 
forming a bridge instead of a barrier for the advance of the northwestern 
cold wave that crossed the northern states that month. 



As a rule, destructive frosts do not occur after May 15 in the spring, 
nor earlier than September 30 in the fall. Over a large part of the south- 
ern peninsula killing frosts do not occur until October 1. This gives an 
average of one hundred and forty- five days, or nearly five months, when, 
under average conditions, there will be no destructive frosts. Except for 
a small part of the extreme western part of Montcalm county and a tip in 
the extreme northeastern part, the average date of the last killing frost in 
the spring is May 5. The average date of the first killing frost in the fall 
varies from October 5, in the extreme southwestern part of Montcalm 
county, to September 30, in the extreme northeastern part. The average 
length of the crop-growing season in Montcalm county varies from one 
hundred and fifty to one hundred and sixty days. 

The prevailing winds for the greater part of the year are from the 
west and the average hourly velocity ranges from twelve and one-half 
miles per hour in March and April to a minimum of about nine miles per 
hour in August and September. The wind is mostly from the west and 
southwest during the first three months of the year and from June to 
December ; while the prevailing direction is mostly southwesterly during 
the months of April and May, quite a large period, but less than a majority 
of the time, the surface movement of the air is from the east and north- 
east. Maximum velocities of short duration ranging from twenty-five to 
forty miles an hour occur during most months of the year and velocities 
from forty to sixty miles an hour are not uncommon but rather infrequent. 
Extreme velocities of sixty miles an hour and over are of comparatively 
rare occurrence; at Grand Rapids the wind velocity has exceeded sixty 
miles but twice in the last nine years. 

Winds are more variable during the cooler half of the year. At all 
seasons the southerly winds are usually warm and moist, the northerly 
winds cold and dry. The easterly winds usually herald unsettled weather, 
the westerly winds fair and settled conditions. Owing to the fact that the 
prevailing summer winds are southwesterly, the shore of Lake Michigan 
from the southern limits of the state northward is rapidly becoming one 
continuous summer resort, where much relief can be found during the hot 
months; the water breezes are refreshing, especially at night, and insure 
greater comfort than can be obtained at any point inland. 



x\griculture, as adapted to most any part of the United States, requires 
from twenty to twenty- four inches of annual precipitation properly dis- 
tributed as a minimum amount to grow successful crops without irrigation. 
A well distributed annual amount varying from twenty-six to thirty inches 
is ample for successful agriculture, while amounts exceeding thirty inches, 
if well distributed, are not injurious to the class of crops grown in Michi- 
gan, unless more than forty inches a year. 

The average annual precipitation, which includes melted snow, hail, 
sleet and rain, is greatest in the extreme southern part of the state and 
least in the northern part. The general average for the entire peninsula 
is approximately thirty inches. The average annual precipitation for Mont- 
calm county, based on observations made from 1886 to 191 1, is from 
thirty to thirty-five inches. The average monthly precipitation in Mont- 
calm county in no month is less than two inches and varies from two inches 
in January and February to nearly three and one-half inches in May and 
June. It is slightly less than three inches for July, about two and one-half 
inches for August, two and three-fourths inches for September, two and 
one-half inches for October, two and three- fourths inches for November 
and two and one-third inches for December. Since the long and intense 
general drought of 1894-95, there has 1>een no serious droughts in the state. 
Previous to 1894 moderately severe droughts had occurred in Michigan 
in 1 881 and 1887. 

The sunshine will average somewhat over fifty per cent, of the possible 
amount, the percentage being much higher during the period extending 
from May to the middle of October, than during the winter months. Dur- 
ing December, January and February it sometimes falls as low as twenty 
per cent, of the possible amount, while during June, July, August and 
September it exceeds sixty and sometimes seventy per cent, of the possible 
amount. As a rule, July is the sunniest month and December the cloudiest. 


Observations of the state geologist show that coal measures underlie 
the surface deposits in Montcalm county. No wells penetrate formations 
deeper than the coal measures in the group of counties southwest and west 
of Saginaw bay, including Montcalm county, and there is therefore no 
direct knowledge of the character and thickness of the deeper lying forma- 


tions. Records of deep wells at Grand Rapids, Mt. Pleasant, Alma, St. 
Johns, Delta and Charlotte, however, indicate the general geologic condi- 
tions obtaining in Montcalm county. 

Tt is very probable that gypsum and coal deposits exist in Montcalm 
county. Marl or bog lime is known to exist in a number of places, but 
under present conditions marl deposits do not have any considerable 
economic value. Tt is quite possible that in the near future marl deposits 
will be developed for agricultural purposes. 


The classifications of soil for Montcalm county, herewith presented, 
merely sets forth the general classes of glacial deposits such as are evident to 
anyone without the pains necessary for a close analysis. Observations have 
seemed sufficiently complete, however, to form a basis for the estimates 
for the relative amounts of sandy and gravelly land given in the tables. 
The gravelly loam appears in river terraces and has been reworked by 
streams. The sand is found in both glacial areas and alluvial tracts. The 
sandy loam is in some cases glacial and in other cases alluvial, but in Michi- 
gan it is ordinarily glacial and more or less pebbly. The fine sandy and 
silty loam is widely represented in the ordinary till plain, the silty phase 
being classed as clayey till. 

The following table shows in detail the surface formations in Mont- 
calm county : 

Swamp Clayey Sandy Gravelly 

Sections. Area and lake till till Sandy loam 

sections, sections, sections, sections, sections, sections. 

T. 12, R. 5 W— -. 36 3 3 22 8 

T. T2, R. 6 W 36 3 9 21 3 

T. 12, R. 7 W 36 6 13 17 

T. 12, R. 8 W 36 3 8 21 4 

T. 12, R. 9 W 36 1 8 18 9 

T. 12. R. 10 W 36 1 1 32 2 

T. 11, R. 10 W— — 36 4 15 7 6 4 

T. n, R. 9 W 36 — 12 16 8 __ 

T. 11, R. 8 W 36 — 4 20 __ 12 

T. 11, R. 7 W 36 2 4 22 __ 8 

T. 11, R. 6 W 36 — 18 15 3 

T. 11, R. 5 W 36 1 13 18 4 


Swamp Clayey Sandy Gravelly 

Sections. Area and lake till till Sandy loam 
sections, sections, sections, sections, sections, sections. 

T. 10, R. 5 W 36 4 12 14 6 

T. 10, R. 6 W 36 2 8 20 6 

T. io, R. 7 W 36 2 t8 14 2 

T. 10, R. 8 W 36 3 3 20 __ 10 

T. 9 R. 8 W 36 2 6 22 6 

T. 9, R. 7 W 36 2 10 20 4 

T. 9, R. 6 W 36 2 24 46 

T. 9, R. 5 W 36 2 28 — 6 

Total 720 42 217 312 113 36 

The total area of Montcalm county, including lakes and embracing 
720 sections, is 7 to square miles, while the whole number of farms in the 
county is 4,678. The average value of the land per acre, which is devoted 
to agriculture, is $26.44. Altogether, there are 613.9 square miles in 
farms, or 84.8 per cent. The total farm land improved amounts to 67.8 _ 
per cent., while the per cent, of all land improved amounts to 57.5 per cent. 
The principal crops of Montcalm county, as given by the state geologist, 
are hay, potatoes, corn, oats, rye, wheat and beans, named in the order of 
their importance. These figures, however, are taken from the T910 census 
and are not dependable at this time. The undeveloped land in Montcalm 
county is chiefly in sandy plains, the more productive land being under 
profitable cultivation. 



The people of Michigan adopted their first Constitution in 1835, pre- 
paratory to the admission of the territory into the Union as a state, but this 
first Constitution was rejected by Congress and in December, 1836, a sec- 
ond Constitution was adopted and this was accepted. The territory of 
Michigan was formally admitted to the Union by act of January 26, 1837, 
with the capital at Detroit and the boundaries reduced to approximately 
the present limits of the state. A small strip of land, covering about six 
hundred square miles, and embracing the present city of Toledo, Ohio, was 
claimed by both. Michigan and Ohio. By the terms of a compromise which 
subsequently settled the dispute, Michigan received the upper peninsula in 
exchange for the territory in dispute. In 1847 the seat of the state govern- 
ment was moved to Lansing, then a dense wilderness. Three years later a 
third Constitution was adopted. 

Michigan derives its name from an Indian word meaning "great lake." 
The first settlement was probably made on the Detroit river in 1650 by the 
French, a temporary mission having been previously established at Sault 
Ste. Marie in 164.T by the French priests, Joques and Raymbault. The 
territory was subsequently colonized by the French and ceded to the Brit- 
ish, together with Canada, by the treaty of Paris in 1763. By the treaty 
of T783, Michigan became a part of the United States, but it was not fully 
surrendered until 1796. On August 6, 1796, a proclamation was issued by 
General St. Clair, governor of the Northwest territory, by which he organ- 
ized the county of Wayne, a county which included the northwest part of 
Ohio, the northeast part of Indiana and the whole of Michigan — which 
then included a part of Wisconsin. 

When the territory of Indiana was organized, on May 7, 1800, out of 
the Northwest territory, the eastern boundary line of Indiana territory was 
extended northward through the middle of the lower peninsula to the 
straits of Mackinaw, while the eastern part of Michigan continued a part 
of the Northwest territory. On January 11, 1805, the territory of Indiana 
was divided and the territory of Michigan created. The first meeting held 
to organize the government of the new territory assembled at Detroit on 


July 4, 1805, tne twenty-ninth anniversary of the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence. Until after the close of the War of 1812 no further action was 
taken with regard to the organization of counties. On November 21, 1815, 
Governor Cass reorganized Wayne county by an executive act and made the 
boundaries to include all the lands within the territory of Michigan to 
which the Indian title had been extinguished. 

By an act of the Legislative Council of the territory of Michigan, 
approved March 2, 183T, Montcalm and several other counties were given 
definite limits. Section 7 of this act provided : "That the country included 
within the following limits, to wit : West of the line between ranges 4 and 
5, east of the line between ranges 8 and 9 west, south of the line between 
townships 12 and 13, and north of the line between townships 8 and 9 
north, containing sixteen townships, be, and the same is hereby set off into 
a separate county by the name of Montcalm." 


At that time no township lines had as yet been surveyed, nor had the 
government, by treaty with the Indians, acquired title to all the lands so 
described. After an interval of about nine years, during which Montcalm 
county was attached to St. Joseph, Kalamazoo and Kent counties, it was 
finally, by an act of the state Legislature approved on April 1, 1840, for- 
mally attached to Ionia county. Settlers came into the new territory very 
fast, and the population grew from year to year. Among these first settlers 
were John Green, Josiah Russell, Thomas H. Myers, Stephen H. Warren, 
Rosecrans K. Divine, Westbrook Divine, Luther Lincoln, George Gibson, 
Anson Ensign, Ethan Satterlee, Frederick W. Worden, Ananias Worden, 
Elihu Fortner, Samuel D. Barr, Edward Petty, Lyman H. Pratt, IT. N. 
Stinson, Josiah Bradish and Volney Belding. These sturdy pioneers found 
it extremely difficult to make the journey to the then distant seat of Ionia 
county, to which it was necessary to go for transaction of any official 
business, and soon became very insistent for the organization of a separate 

On March 19, 1845, Montcalm township was formed by act of the 
state Legislature and was defined to embrace all territory designated by the 
United States survey as Montcalm county except townships 9 and 10, north 
of range 5 west, which had been previously attached to North Plains town- 
ship, in Ionia county. By this act Montcalm township was attached to 
Ionia county for election, judicial and taxation purposes. The act fixed 


the first official meeting place of the township at the house of Anson 
Ensign. It was here that the electors of the township met on April 7, 
1845. The board of elections consisted of Stephen H. Warren, moderator; 
George Gibson, Josiah Russell, Ethan Satterlee and Rosecrans K. Divine, 
inspectors, and Josiah Russell and Rosecrans K. Divine, clerks. Thirty- 
six electors who appeared at thfs meeting chose the following officials: 
Frederick W. Worden, supervisor: Josiah Russell, township clerk; Rose- 
crans K. Divine, treasurer; George Gibson, Stephen F. Warren, John Green 
and Elihu Fortner, justices of the peace; Samuel B. Barr and Ethan Sat- 
terlee, assessors; Westbrook Divine, Edward Petty, Lyman H. Pratt, com- 
missioners of highways; H. N. Stinson, Josiah Bradish, Ananias Worden, 
school inspectors; Volncy Belding, Josiah Bradish, directors of the poor, 
and Henry S. Halford, Jonathan Gould, Lorenzo Whitney and Lyman H. 
Pratt, constables. It is rather remarkable that of the thirty-six present at 
the first township election, nineteen of this number were elected to office 
and two of the nineteen were chosen to fill two offices each. 


In 1846 the real estate of Montcalm township was valued at 
$29,945.28, and this property paid a county tax of $209.62 and a state tax 
of $74.86. Ananias Worden succeeded Frederick W. Worden as super- 
visor in 1846 and he was succeeded by Josiah Russell in 1847. Russell 
was succeeded by Rosecrans K. Divine in 1849. In this connection, the 
basis of the assessment of property for taxation in 1850, the first levy 
made by the board of supervisors after the organization of Montcalm 
county, is interesting. At this meeting, held at Greenville, on April 9, 
1850, the following rates of assessment were agreed upon: "Wild land, 
ten shillings per acre ; improvement, ten shillings per acre ; good house, like 
A. French's, $125; ditto, like Becker's, $75; ditto, like Green's, $50; good 
barn, $25; good span of horses, $25; good yoke of oxen, $10; good wagon, 
$10; good cow, $4; good two-year-old steer, $2; good two-year-old colt, 
$4; good sheep, 25c; good double saw-mill, $400; good single saw-mill, 

By an act of the Michigan Legislature, approved on March 20, 1850, 
Montcalm county began an independent career as one of the political units 
of this commonwealth. By this act, however, Montcalm county was made 
a part of Ionia county for judicial purposes and it was also left attached 
to Ionia county for the purpose of electing a representative in the state 


Legislature. A temporary county seat was fixed within the present limits 
of Eureka township at what came to be the city of Greenville, but the act 
specifically provided for the permanent location of the seat of justice by 
the supervisors elected ten years later, in- i860. 

Montcalm county, no doubt, was named for Louis Joseph, Marquis 
de Montcalm de Saint Veran, a distinguished French officer who was born 
near Nimes, February 28, 1712, and was killed in the defense of Quebec. 
September 14, 1759. 


A complete copy of the enabling act by which Montcalm county was 
formally organized is presented herewith : 

"Section 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives 
of the state of Michigan, That the county of Montcalm shall be organized, 
and the inhabitants thereof entitled to all the rights and privileges to which 
by law the inhabitants of the other organized counties of this state are 

"Sec. 2. That all suits, prosecutions and other matters now pending 
before any court of record in Tonia county, or before any justice of the 
peace in said county, or that shall be pending at the time of the taking 
effect of this act, shall be prosecuted to final judgment and execution; and 
all taxes heretofore levied and now due shall be collected in the same man- 
ner as though the county of Montcalm had not been organized. 

"Sec. 3. There shall be elected in the said county of Montcalm on 
the first Monday of April, in the year one thousand eight hundred and 
fifty, all the several county officers to which by law the said county is 
entitled; and said election shall in all respects be conducted and held in the 
manner prescribed by law for holding elections for county and state offi- 
cers: Provided, That until such county officers are elected and qualified 
the proper county officers of the county of Tonia shall perform all the 
duties appertaining to said county of Montcalm, in the same manner as 
though this act had not been passed: And, Provided further, That the 
county officers so to be elected shall be qualified and enter upon the duties 
of their respective offices on or before the fifteenth day of April, one thou- 
sand eight hundred and fifty. 

"Sec. 4. The board of canvassers in said county, under this act, shall 
consist of the presiding inspectors of elections from each township therein, 
and said inspectors shall meet at the county seat of said county at the time 
appointed by law for the county canvass, and immediately after the election 


authorized in the third section of this act, and organize by appointing one 
of their number chairman and another secretary of said board, and shall 
thereupon proceed to discharge all the duties of a board of county can- 
vassers as in ordinary cases of election for county and state officers. 

"Sec. 5. That the county of Montcalm, when so organized, and the 
county of Ionia shall constitute one representative district, and the election 
returns of said district shall be made at the county seat of the county of 

"Sec. 6. The circuit court for the county of Ionia shall have the same 
jurisdiction over the said county of Montcalm that it would have had this 
act not been passed, until otherwise provided by law. 

"Sec. 7. That it shall be the duty of the sheriff of said county of 
Montcalm to provide some suitable place for holding courts in said county, 
at the county seat thereof, until public buildings shall be erected. 

"Sec. 8. That the county seat of the said county of Montcalm shall 
be, and the same is hereby, fixed and established on the northeast quarter 
of the northeast quarter of section sixteen, in township number nine north, 
range number eight west, until the year one thousand eight hundred and 
sixty, and until the same shall be permanently located as hereinafter pro- 
vided; and the supervisors elected for the year eighteen hundred and sixty 
in said count}' shall have the power, and it shall be their duty, to perma- 
nently locate the county seat of said county: Provided, That the inhabitants 
of the county shall not be taxed for the erection of county buildings until 
the permanent location of the county seat is made, as provided in section 
eight of this act. 

"Sec. 9. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its 

"Approved, March 20. 1850." 


According to the provisions of this act, the voters of four townships, 
Hushnell, Eureka, Fairplain and Montcalm, met at the polls on Monday, 
April 1, j 850, and elected county officials. The returns from Fairplain 
township, consisting of 53 votes, were thrown out because of irregularities 
and in the three remaining townships a total of 133 votes were cast. Of 
these votes, Josiah Russell received 129 for county judge and Ethan Sat- 
terlee 120 for second judge. Stephen H. Warren was elected probate 
judge over 1. Fifield, receiving 122 votes to Fifield's 4. Enos T. Peck was 


chosen county clerk. Gibson S. Fargo was elected the first sheriff, receiv- 
ing 125 out of 126 votes cast for this office. For county clerk, Henry M. 
Moore was elected, receiving 87 votes to 35 cast for Ananias Worden, and 
4 for Henry W. Moore. John Porter was the only candidate for county 
treasurer. Newcomb J. Ireland was elected register of deeds over Hiram 
H. Slawson, receiving 85 votes to Slawson's 36. For county surveyor, 
Josiah Rradish received 122 votes and Josiah Russell 1. For county coro- 
ners, Chauncey Olnlsted received T19 and John Green 126. Rosecrans K. 
Divine, of Eureka township, Volney Belding, of Montcalm township, and 
Rufus K. Moore, of Fairplain township, were elected members of the board 
of supervisors. 


At the first meeting of the Montcalm county board of supervisors, 
held at Greenville, April 9, 1850, all the members of the board were pres- 
ent. The board appointed the "public house of Morton Shearer at Green- 
ville as a place for holding the county courts of Montcalm county, and a 
bargain was accordingly made by the sheriff with Mr. Shearer for the use 
of his house for said purpose at one dollar per day.'' At this meeting the 
first certificate of the killing of a wolf in Montcalm county was presented 
by Hiram Rossman, of Eureka township, and a bounty of $8 allowed 
Rossman. Between 1850 and the close of i860, a total of $1,320 was paid 
in bounties for the killing of 23 t wolves. Many of these bounties were 
paid to Indians. 

The second meeting of the board of supervisors was held on April 17, 
1850, attended by R. K. Divine, of Eureka, Volney Belding, of Montcalm, 
R. K. Moore, of Fairplain, and C. W. Olmsted, of Bushnell. After the 
reading of the minutes of the first meeting, the chairman and clerk of the 
board were authorized to issue county orders, bearing interest from date, 
"to the amount necessary to pay the expenses of the county up to the mid- 
dle of October next." It seems that Daniel Munger having declined to furnish 
the necessary books for the county, the clerk of the board was directed to 
order books from A. S. Bagg, of Detroit. The board of supervisors also 
authorized the chairman and clerk to procure a county seal. 

At the third meeting of the board, held on October 14, 1850, the fol- 
lowing claims were allowed : E. R. Powell, for printing county orders, 
$9 ; A. Monroe, for going to Ionia for books, $2 ; I. Russell, freight on 
county books, $7. 50; A. Roosa, serving notices on supervisors, $2. On the 


next day other accounts were audited and allowed as follows: G. S. 
Fargo, $5.50; Morton Shearer, $8; S. H. Warren, $1.75; A. S. Bagg, 
$130.25; John Porter, treasurer, $7; E. B. Burrington, $3.54; R. K. Divine, 
$12.25; C. W. Olmsted, $10.74;; R. K. Moore, $9.12, and J. Russell, 
service as judge, $1. The county clerk of Ionia county was allowed $20 
for his services for acting also as clerk of Montcalm county. The journal 
of the board of supervisors shows that there was raised by taxation in 
Montcalm county in T850 for state purposes, $80.44, an d for county pur- 
poses, $350. 

Another entry in the journal of the board of supervisors shows the 
valuation of taxable property in the several townships of Montcalm county 
for 1850, together with the apportionment of state and county taxes to the 
different townships for 1850: 

Townships. As assessed. As equalized. Personal. 

Bushnell $ 6,952.50 $ 6,952.50 $ 893.00 

Eureka 24,600.98 24,600.98 1,504.62 

Fairplain 18,127.39 18,127.39 1,031.50 

Montcalm 12,542.24 12,542.24 1,114.00 

$ 7,845.50 


$ 9.46 





Total $62,223.11 $62,223.11 $4,543.12 


Before the levy of 1852 was made Bloomer township had been organ- 
ized and the total real and personal property, as equalized, had increased 
to $98,430, with a county tax of $500 and a state tax of $387.71. The 
statement of valuations for real and personal property for 1853 shows that 
total values had risen to $291,645 and that 1,847 out °f 9°»933 acres of 
land in the county was improved. The total valuation of all property in 
1854 was $501,882; in 1855 ^ was $795,612, and in 1856 it was $893,581. 
There was a reduction in valuations for real and personal property for 
1857, but the valuations rose again to $908,900 in 1858. By this time 
Pierson, Cato, Evergreen, Sidney, Feris and Crystal townships had been 

In 1859 the total valuation for real and personal property in Mont- 
calm county for the first time exceeded a million dollars, the aggregate 
valuations for all property being returned by the board of supervisors at 

From certain records on file in Montcalm county it appears that Judge 
Epaphroditus Ransom, afterwards governor of the state, made the first 
land entry in Montcalm county. In June, July and August, 1835, lie 


entered certain parts of sections I and 2, township 9 north, range 5 west, 
and section 36, in township 10 north, range 5 west. The first transfer of 
lands between individuals was made on October 18, 1837, by Benjamin 
Young, of Ontaria county, New York, to Carso Crane, of the same county 
and state. The first entry transfer of lands made by Newcomb J. Ireland, 
first register of deeds in Montcalm county, was made to Ebenezer Salyer 
on May 2, 1850. Luther Lincoln is believed to have been the first settler 
in Montcalm county, having lived near the junction of Flat river and 
Black creek as early as the spring of 1837. The first marriage recorded in 
the county records was that of Benjamin Weaver, of Otisco, Tonia county, 
to Gertrude Stockholm, of Eureka township, the ceremony having been 
performed on March 19, 185 1, by the Rev. Wilson Mosher. 


The act of the Michigan Legislature which provided for the organiza- 
tion of Montcalm county temporarily located the county seat at Greenville, 
but provided for the permanent location of the county seat by the board of 
supervisors elected in i860. The original act also specifically set forth that 
no tax should be levied for the erection of county buildings until a per- 
manent seat had been chosen. Until the present county seat was selected 
in i860 all official business was transacted at Greenville, the early court 
meeting at the house of Morton Shearer. The people of Greenville were 
anxious to retain the county seat and made at least one significant move in 
that direction. They obtained the incorporation of Pierson township, pre- 
viously a part of Mecosta county and which then included the present terri- 
tory of Pierson, Winlield, Maple Valley and Reynolds townships, in order, 
no doubt, to add weight to their cause, since this territory lay to the north- 
west of Greenville. 

The original act,' approved on March 20, 1850, was amended by an 
act of January 29, 1859, to provide that although the supervisors might 
designate a place for the county seat, the question would have to be sub- 
mitted to the people for ratification at the next general election. 

When the Montcalm county board of supervisors met for the first 
time in i860 (January 10), the following representatives appeared for each 
of the ten townships then organized: Bloomer, William Patrick; Cato, 
Albert S. French ; Crystal, John Burk ; Eureka, Westbrook Divine ; Ever- 
green, Mortimer Gilleo; Fairplain, Martin P. Follett; Ferris, Peter 
Schlppi; Montcalm, Stephen Rossman ; Pierson, George A. Page, and Sid- 


ney, Ira Barlow. Meetings were held on the ioth, nth and 12th, and on 
the last day the board adjourned to meet on April 10, i860, to consider 
the location of a county seat. At this meeting John S. Smith appeared in 
place of John Burk as the representative from Crystal township, Aaron 
Lyon appeared in place of William Patrick as the representative from 
Bloomer, George F. Case appeared instead of Mortimer Gilleo for Ever- 
green, and William Castel appeared for Bushnell township, lately organ- 


At the session of the supervisors on April n, i860, the board resolved 
itself into a committee of the whole to examine different locations proposed 
for a county seat and on the same day a motion to locate the county seat 
in the city of Greenville was lost by a vote of seven to three, Messrs. Ross- 
man, Divine and French voting in favor of the motion and Messrs. Smith, 
I .yon, Schlappi, Barlow, Follett, Case and Castel voting against it. A little 
later, a motion submitted by Peter Schlappi, to locate the county seat on 
the northeast quarter of section 1, township 10 north, range 7 west, carried 
by a vote of seven to three, the supervisors who had voted against Green- 
ville voting "yes" in this case and the supervisors who had stood for 
Greenville voting "no" in this case. This act of the supervisors was sub- 
mitted to the people in November, i860, and carried by a vote of 504 to 
374. Early in 1861 a committee, consisting of Westbrook Divine, Albert 
S. French and William Castel, was appointed to fix the exact location of 
the county building. 

On January 3, i860, a motion, made by Peter Schlappi, that $1,000 
lie expended by the county in the erection of county buildings, consisting 
of a court house and jail and offices for the county clerk, treasurer and 
register of deeds, was defeated for want of a two-thirds majority, the 
vote being six to five in favor of the proposition. Another motion, how- 
ever, authorizing John L. Smith to procure a deed from Frederick Hall 
for the site chosen for the county buildings, was carried. Mr. Smith 
obtained the deed and made his report next day. Several efforts were made 
to get the necessary appropriation for the erection of county buildings, 
but no pffirmative action was taken until June 12, i860, when an appro- 
priation of $1,000 was obtained by a vote of seven to four. The next day 
a motion carried for the appropriation of $500 for clearing off the site of 
the county seat and laying out a town. 

Frederick Hall sold to Montcalm county the site of the present seat 




of the county for $50 and in consideration of his liberality the town was 
named "Fred" for him. Later, however, when it came time to establish a 
postoffice at the county seat, the application papers were drawn up and the 
name of the i>ostoflke left blank. These papers were sent to Mr. Hall with 
the suggestion that he supply whatever name he desired. Air. Hall was at 
that time a great admirer of Edwin M. Stanton, then secretary of war 
under President Lincoln, and he therefore filled in the name "Stanton"' in 
the blank space and the county seat of Montcalm county was permanently 
named. This change in the name of the county seat was recognized by the 
Legislature in an act approved on February 23. 1863. Stanton became an 
incorporated village by act of the supervisors on October 18, 1867. 


According to authority of the Montcalm county board of supervisors, 
the first court house was erected at Fred, now Stanton, in i860, and this 
served the purposes of the county until 1870, when a brick structure 
replaced the old wooden building so far as the judge of probate, register 
of deeds, county clerk and county treasurer were concerned. Both build- 
ings, however, were used for offices and a jail until 1880. The "fire-proof 
building,'' erected in 1870, cost about $1,500 and was erected by Seth 
Sprague. Generally speaking, Montcalm county's malefactors were con- 
fined in the county jail at Ionia until 1870, although it is certain that the 
upper part of Abel French's store was used for a time. 

From i860 to 1880 several attempts were made to obtain an appro- 
, priation for suitable and safe county buildings at Stanton, but to the feeling 
of the people of Greenville and vicinity that the seat might sometime be 
restored to their fair city, the failure of these several efforts may be attrib- 

"There were no shutters or vaults in either of the buildings," says a 
political tract issued while the campaign for the present court house was 
being carried on, "and during all of the time they were in use any enter- 
prising thief on a dark night could have broken in at a window and have 
carried away all of the nearly priceless records of the real estate of this 
county, as the books in every office were kept on open shelves." 

In the spring of 1879 the question was submitted to a direct vote of 
the people whether $10,000, together with a like amount to be contributed 
by the people of Stanton, should be raised to erect a new court house. The 
proposition carried by a vote of 2,482 to 1,316, and a contract was sub- 


scquently let to Jacob C. Consaul, of Fair Haven. William Backus, Will- 
iam F. Turner and VV. D. Bellows were designated as a building committee 
from the board of suj>ervisors and work on the new structure begun about 
August i. 1879.. The building was completed and occupied in July, 1880, 
and cost altogether about $23,000. This building contained fine offices for 
all the county officials and substantial vaults which saved the records in the 
1905 fire. The late Clarence W. Chapin, who was well known in Mont- 
calm county as one of the leading bankers of Stanton, had previously 
raised $600 by popular subscription, which was spent in grading the court 
house grounds. 


The new court house, built in 1879-80, was formally dedicated July 5, 
J 880, the dedicatory address being delivered by Hon. John Lewis, of Green- 
ville, former prosecuting attorney of Montcalm county, and later judge of 
the probate court. Apparently, there was a lurking suspicion in the minds 
of the people of the county that Mr. Lewis might discuss phases of politics 
to which they did not care to listen, for the assurance was given in the 
Weekly Clipper of June 25, 1880, that the speech would be free from local 

"To correct an error under which some of the people of the county are 
laboring," said the Clipper, "we would say that there will be nothing politi- 
cal mixed up with the dedicatory ceremonies of July 5. The orator of the 
day has been especially informed that his hearers want nothing of the kind, 
but expect something adapted only to the occasion, viz : The dedication of 
our new temple of justice. He will not make a Fourth of July oration in 
the ordinary acceptation of the term, so our hearers may rest assured that 
there will be nothing that will grate harshly on the most sensitive ears." 

A careful reading of extracts from the address bears out the above 
promise or pledge. Mr. Lewis did, however, make the statement that at the 
time the first session of the circuit court was held in Stanton, in June r 
J 862, there were but two buildings in Stanton, the court house and a log- 
tavern which occupied the site of what came to be the Stanton House, kept 
by one Roosa. 

in some unexplained way, the court house erected in 1879-80 caught 
fire about ten o'clock in the morning, February 16, 1905, and burned to 
the ground. A considerable portion of the old brick walls were left stand- 
ing, and with $20,000 insurance it was planned to erect another court 
house at once. Plans were obtained and paid for by the county at a cost 


of $500 for the erection of another structure, without a jail in the base- 
ment, for the sum of $19,945, but proceedings were halted by litigation and 
a proposition submitted to the voters April 3, 1905, to bond the county for 
$40,000 was defeated by a vote of 3,774 to 3,197. a majority of 577. On 
April 2, 1906, the same proposition was defeated by a vote of 3,455 to 
3,214, a majority of 241. Later in the same year, November 6, a proposi- 
tion of bond the county for $30,000, was defeated, 2,474 to 2,231, a major- 
ity of 231 against. On April 1, 1907, the same proposition was defeated, 
3,074 to 2,731, a majority of 343. No further vote was taken until April 
5, 1909, when a $50,000 bond issue wasi defeated by a vote of 4,113 to 
3,920, a majority of 193. 


By this time the people of Stanton and vicinity were thoroughly 
aroused and when the proposition was submitted the next time they were 
well organized and the court house bond issue carried at the election held 
on April 4, 1910, by a majority of 31. The vote by authority of which 1 
the present court house was erected, by voting districts, was as follows : 

District. Yes. No. 

Belvidere 241 45 

Bloomer 201 102 

Bushnell 62 83 

Cato 47 226 

Crystal 217 53 

Day 342 20 

Douglass 242 21 

Eureka 3 143 

Evergreen 212 91 

Fairplain 43 108 

Ferris , _ 236 9 

Home 290 24 

Maple Valley 33 374 

Montcalm 16 213 

Pierson 16 131 

Pine _ 30 173 

Reynolds 56 189 

Richland 186 33 

Sidney 120 128 



District. Yes. No. 

Winfield 23 124 

Greenville, first ward 32 220 

Greenville, second ward 59 334 

Greenville, third ward 54 290 

Stanton, first ward 240 

Stanton, second ward 165 I 

Total 2,966 2,935 

Majority for bond issue, 31. 

Stanton's joy hardly knew any bounds after this event. A struggle 
of five years had culminated finally with complete success and the people 
no doubt had a right to feel jubilant. A brief article in the Edmore Times, 
appearing after the election, describes somewhat humorously, the feeling 
of different sections of the county. 

" 'Not a bloody, bloomiir thing was done' at Stanton for more than 
four hours after it was known that the court house bonding proposition 
was carried Monday night only for the citizens to howl. The band came 
out, dynamite was shot off and the fire whistle blew so long and loud that 
it woke up the dead at Greenville. 

"Even citizens of Edmore, wearing broad smiles, sat out on their 
porches and listened to Stanton's musical fire alarm and saw and heard the 
fireworks nine miles in the distance. 

"It seemed to be catching and the bullfrogs in Crystal lake and the 
citizens of McBride all joined in the chorus. 

"Over at Lakeview, Howard City, Coral and Greenville the lights 
were turned out and everybody went to roost early. Not even a cock has 
crowed in either one of these towns since. 

"After 'J m1 ' Haskins, of the Howard City Record, got the returns he 
quietly slid his stereotyped court house editorial into the 'hell box' and 
crawled under the bed covers. His devil will issue the paper this week." 


Five years after the resolution adopted by the Montcalm county board 
of supervisors for the bond issue of $50,000 with which to build the present 
court house, was indorsed by the people at the polls, it seems proper to give 
credit where credit is due. No man had quite as much to do with Stan- 


ton's final and complete victory as S. Perry Youngs. His name does not 
appear on the tablet in the court house. Nevertheless, he was the leading 
spirit in obtaining favorable action on the resolution in 19TO and was at 
that time a member of the board. Having in the meantime been appointed 
supervisor of the census, he was not permitted to accept another election 
in 191 o. The secret of Mr. Youngs' ultimate success in obtaining the new 
court house was a spirit of undaunted courage and unfailing determination. 
Throughout the many unsuccessful campaigns he never for one moment 
lost hope in ultimate triumph. Even the friends of Stanton had despaired 
of success and sought to postpone the issue in 191 o, when Mr. Youngs 
began to muster his forces for another campaign. There are unwritten 
incidents of the final campaign which it were better, no doubt, not to set 
down here, but in everything the leader of the Stanton forces displayed 
courage of a rare order. Of course, everything else was subordinated to 
the main issue, and Mr. Youngs so well knew the strength of his oppon- 
ents and the weaknesses of his friends that he was able to counteract the 
one and bolster up the other. Tie did most of the detail work as well, 
including the preparation of a voluminous amount of campaign literature, 
which was circulated with good effect among the doubtful voters. In all 
of this, Mr. Youngs was fortified with experiences gained not only from 
1906 to T910. but likewise from the campaign for the court house of 1879. 
in which he was prominent. Tn the campaign of 1879 the leader of the 
Stanton forces was the venerable II. II. Hinds, who is still living in Stan- 

At a meeting of the supervisors, held on April T3, T910, Smith' A. 
Booth, of Greenville, Wyllys R. Thomas, of Stanton, and Frank Boyer, of 
Day township, were appointed a committee to advertise for bids for the 
sale of bonds for the new court house, and April 28. 1910, fixed as the day 
of opening bids and selling the bonds. On the same date, April 13, a 
building committee, consisting of George Holland, of Sidney township, 
chairman; Henry S. Sharp, of Montcalm township, and Edwin Porter, of 
Douglass township, was appointed. The contractor's bond covering the 
construction of the new court house and jail was also fixed at this meeting 
at $20,000. The bonds were duly disposed of and Edwyn A. Bowd, of 
Lansing, selected as the architect. The contract for the construction of the 
present court house was let, therefore, to Wright & Prall, of Ionia. June 
24, 1910, 'their bid being $58,280.68, and included, 1>esides the court house, 
a jail and sheriff's residence and a power house. The contract for heat- 
ing was let to Henry Gable, of Ionia, for $3,168.33. and for plumbing the 




three buildings to Mr. Gable for $2,034.36. A beautiful tablet in the main 
corridor of the first floor gives the names of the supervisors at the time 
the building was being erected. These names will long be remembered in 
the history of the county and are as follows: Robert Evans, chairman; 
W. Glenn Abbott, clerk; Charles F. Dickinson, R. Arthur Carothers, Jacob 
M. Parkhurst, Franklin B. Henkel, Jesse L. Vanwormer, George A. Four- 
nie. Thomas W. Musson, George W. Miller, Lucius L. Church, William T. 
Fisk, James H. Steere, Frank W. Bailey, James P. Throop, John E. Tay- 
lor, Edwin Porter, Henry S. Sharp, Vir C. Allchin, John H. Jenson, Smith 
A. Booth, Frank Boyer. John Barmen, Eno C. Yanke, Wyllys R. Thomas 
and George Holland. 


The building of the present Montcalm county court house, jail and 
sheriff's residence occupied about two years. The court house is a magnifi- 
cent structure built of buff brick, trimmed with stone, and is adequate for 
every purpose of the county. It is thoroughly fire-proof and, being situated 
on an eminence in the west part of Stanton, may l>e seen for many miles. 
The people of Montcalm county are justly proud of this splendid temple 
of justice and of the enterprising spirit of its citizens who made it possible. 
The present jail and sheriff's residence, which was erected on a lot south 
of the court house, is also built of pressed buff brick and presents a very 
attractive ap{>earance. The sheriff's residence is in the front and the jail 
in the rear. The present accommodations for prisoners are in marked 
contrast with the accommodations furnished in the old court house when 
prisoners were housed in the basement. 

Interesting in this connection is a report made by an agent of the state 
board of corrections and charities and published in the Stanton Weekly 
Clipper of February 15, 1889. 

"T visited the jail of Montcalm county on February 10," says the ag-ent. 
"A great improvement has been made in bringing out the iron bars so as to 
allow the prisoners to be kept within the bars. They can no longer com- 
municate with those without, and receive tools through the windows. The 
general condition of the jail is good. With care of the sewer pipes, there 
should be no odors. The great need is a bath tub. Men coming in in a 
filthy condition should be required to wash themselves thoroughly. The 
woman's room should be put in better condition, and might be used for boys 
when not needed for women. The jail has the necessary disadvantages of 


a jail under a court house. The classification and separation the law calls 
for is impracticable. I found nine men and two boys, one man held for 
nearly a year. There is opportunity for doing good in some suitable person 
holding a service on Sunday and in furnishing proper reading. The men 
listened respectfully to a service T conducted.*' 


Although little information is available bearing upon the care of the 
poor in Montcalm county prior to i860, it seems reasonable to believe they 
were well cared for, inasmuch as during the War of the Rebellion the 
county expended $36,81.6.91 in aid of soldiers' families while the population 
of the county was only three thousand nine hundred and eighty-four in 
i860. Several attempts were made to purchase a county poor farm prior 
to i860. On October 12, 1859, William Backus, of Eureka township, and 
Asa Ward, of Crystal township, were appointed as supervisors of the poor 
for the ensuing year. On the next day, provision was made to advertise 
for sealed proposals for the purchase of a county poor farm, but nothing 
further seems to have been done. Five hundred dollars, however, was 
voted to pay past indebtedness on account of the poor, the balance to be 
applied to expenses for the ensuing year. On January 11, i860, a motion 
was made by Supervisor Westbrook Divine to buy a county poor farm, the 
cost not to exceed $1,200 and interest not to exceed seven per cent. This 
motion carried by a vote of six to four, Messrs. French, Divine, Follett, 
Page, Rossman and Barlow voting in favor of it and Messrs. Patrick, Burk, 
Gilleo and Schlappi voting against it. Three days later a portion of the 
present county poor farm located in sections 5 and 8, township 9 north, 
range 7. west, was purchased of Maria M. Light for $900. On October 
30, 1868, an additional purchase was made from Ervin San ford for $1,000. 
The present county farm, which consists of one hundred and twenty acres 
or thereabout, is located as above described in Eairplain township, a few 
miles northeast of Greenville. 

It is a remarkable fact that the cost of assisting the poor has not 
increased in proportion to the increase in population. The total expense 
incurred on account of the poor in t88o, for instance, was $8,379.58, and 
a report of the superintendents of the poor for the year ending September 
30, 191 5, shows that the net expense for the last year was only $7,262.48. 
A summary of the superintendents' report for September 30, 1915, shows 
the following: 


Total expenses for townships and wards for tem- 
porary relief $3,826.37 

Total expense for county farm 772.10 

Total expense of county infirmary 3'3°5-6°/ 

Grand total of expenses 7,904.16 

Credit by amount paid to county treasurer 641.68 

Total net expenses for the year $7,262.48 

The total number of inmates enrolled at the county farm in 191 5 was 
forty-six, of whom twenty-five were males and twenty-one females. The 
average enrollment was thirty-eight. Four deaths occurred at the infirmary 
in 191 5. 



In the following pages are presented the history of the various town- 
ships of Montcalm county, comprising a brief sketch of the organization, 
the names of the original petitioners, when they are disclosed by the records, 
topography and general characteristics of the soil, the original land 
entries and first settlements. The later history of each township properly 
comes within the scope of the general history of the county and is covered in 
the several chapters on agriculture, industry, education, secret and fraternal 
orders, transportation, etc. 


Uelvidere township, which was the eighteenth township erected in this 
county, is located in the extreme north central part of Montcalm count)-. 
It is designated on the government survey as township 12 north, range 7 
west, and is bounded as follows : On the north by Mecosta county, on tin- 
east by Home township, on the south by Douglass township and on the west 
by Cato township. 

Belvidere township was organized by the board of supervisors on 
March 7, 1867. but the minutes of the meetings of the board of supervisors 
from December 2, 1866, to October 14, 1867, are missing, and hence the 
business of that bodv at the time the township was organized has been lost. 
Tt is also very unfortunate that the petition for the erection of this township 
has also been misplaced and it is impossible to give the names of the peti- 
tioners. It is an established certainty that the first election was held at the 
house of William Garden on the 1st of April, 1867. The meeting was called 
to order by George Stevenson, and William Gardner was appointed modera- 
tor. The total number of votes cast was nine and there were eight different 
voters elected to office, so one voter did not receive an office of trust in the 
newly-created township. The ballot box used at this first election was a 
wooden box made of rough boards, in which a hole was bored for the recep- 
tion of the ballots, after which formality the lid was knocked off and the 


votes counted. The following is the list of officers elected at this meeting: 
George VVyscl, supervisor; William Wysel, clerk; William Bock, treasurer; 
John Hammcl, George Wysel and George Stevenson, highway commission- 
ers; William Gardner, William Taylor, George Stevenson and William 
Wysel, justices ; Samuel Smith and George Wysel, constables. It was also 
voted at this election to raise two hundred dollars for highway purposes, 
and also that the next township meeting be held at the house of William 
Wysel. Thus the township of Belvidere took on a definite organization 
and assumed a place along with the other seventeen townships of the county. 

The soil in the northern part of Belvidere township is of a sandy loam, 
and in the early days there was an abundance of pine timber; towards the 
south the soil becomes heavier, and the dense growth of pine gradually gave 
way to a heavy growth of beech and maple. The agricultural pursuits of 
the settlers have been looked after to a greater extent since the land has 
been cleared of its timber. The first general advance in farming was made 
in the southern part, but of later years advanced methods of farming have 
been taken up in the northern part also. 

Belvidere is drained by Flat river, its surface in general sloping towards 
the source of that stream on the northwest quarter of section 15, where it 
serves as the outlet of a system of six lakes, situated on sections 12, 14 and 
15. and of several streams of considerable importance from the north, east 
and south, which flow into them. The whole system served as an extensive 
reservoir, in which, by a dam, the waters were retained for the purpose of 
raising the river when large quantities of logs were to be rafted to the mills 
at Greenville, Grand Rapids and Grand Haven. There are a number of 
other fine lakes in the township — Town Line lake, situated on the line of 
Cato and Belvidere, being the largest. Horse Shoe lake, named from its 
peculiar form, is in the adjoining sections 19, 20. 30 and 31. Wysel lake, 
Penny lake and Long lake are all connected with Flat river. 


Section 2 — Henry T. Stringham, John F. Morris. Section 3 — Henry 
T. Stringham, Edwin F. French. Section 4 — Henry T. Stringham, John 
Squires, Edwin F. French. Section 5 — Henry T. Stringham, John Squires. 
Section 8 — Henry T. Stringham. Section 9 — Henry T. Stringham, Edward 
C. Gallup, Henry T. Stringham. Section 10 — Henry T. Stringham, 
Edward C. Gallup. Section 11 — Henry T. Stringham, Edward C. Gallup. 


Section 12 — Sidney M. Root, James M. Kidd, Edmund Hall. Section 13 — 
John Ely, S. M. Root, J. M. Soverhill, J. M. Kidd, R. E. Lance, Edmund 
Hall. Section 14 — John J. Ely, Henry T. Stringham. Section 15 — Henry 
T. Stringham, E. K. Wood, Edmund Hall. Section 16 — Joseph L. Kelsey, 
Ambrose Atwood, James Coleman, O. P. Gould, A. S. French, Albert S. 
French, Albert Sage, Leonard C. Sumner, Dana S. Gibson, D. Summers. 
Section 17 — Henry 11. Crapo. Section 18 — Henry H. Crapo. Section 19 — 
Henry II. Crapo. Section 20 — Henry H. Crapo. Section 21 — S. Hill, 
Aloney Rust, Henry H. Crapo, Benjamin Joy, Elijah Wilder, John liam- 
mel, Albert S. French. Section 22 — Lysander Hill, Edward C. Gallup, 
William Taylor, Philander Gowe and George Isham, Joseph L. Kelsey, E. 
K. Wood, Edmund Hall. Section 23 — Julia A. Clark. Section 24— John 
J. Ely, James M. Soverhill, Lannon B. Townsend, John Stout. Section 25 
Julia Ann Clark, L. B. Townsend. Section 26 — Julia Ann Clark, Josiah J. 
Morris. Section 27 — John Whitner, George Wysel, William Wysel, Phi- 
lander R. Howe and George Isham, Anson Ware, John G. W'hipple. Sec- 
tion 28 — Aloney Rust, Henry H. Crapo, Charles E. Ellsworth, John C. 
Blanchard, Joseph L. Kelsey. .Section 29 — Aloney Rust, Jacob Davis. 
Frank S. Peck, Henry H. Crapo. Section 30 — Aloney Rust, Stephen F. 
Page, Jacob A. Davis, Henry II. Crapo, Silas L. Smith, D. C. Moore. Sec- 
tion 31 — Aloney Rust, Stephen F. Page, Carso Crane, Samuel B. Peck. 
Lewis E. Smith, Benjamin Joy, John J. Ely, D. C. Moore. Section 32 — 
Aloney Rust, Stephen F. Page, Joseph J. Shearer. Section 33 — Jonas Sny- 
der, Aloney Rust. Cornelius Slaght. Section 34 — Aloney Rust, Hiram Bop- 
inan, Allen Wright. Henry M. Cawkin. Section 35 — William Gardner, 
Philander Howe and George Isham, Henry Cawkin, Baw and Spencer, 
Edmund Hale. Section 36 — Julia Ann Clark, George Stevenson, William 
D. Mason Miles, Emma A. Ripley. 


William Good water, who as early as 1855-56 settled near the south line 
of section 33, is regarded as the first white man who, with his family, 
entered the wilds of Belvidere. Aside from the fact, and that he subse- 
quently became a resident of Douglass, little is known of him. He built a 
small log cabin, but made no other improvements of importance. Being of 
small stature and owing to some business transaction with a party of settlers 
from the south part of the county who stopped at his cabin while on their 
way to fish in the lake on section 28, he was thenceforth known as Pennv 


Goodwater. Although the circumstance which occasioned this singular use 
of the word has passed from the memory of men, and even the location of 
his cabin can no longer be designated, the lake before referred to on the 
southeast quarter of section 28, as well as the smaller one in Douglass, near 
which he subsequently lived, received their names from this circumstance, 
the former being known as Big Penny and the latter as Little Penny lake. 
Goodwater remained in Belvidere but a few years, when, selling his claim, 
he removed to Douglass. 

Many years elapsed before another settler came in. William Gardner, 
from New York, who entered the north half of the northeast quarter of 
section 35, in the fall of 1864, was probably the next. He built a log cabin, 
and the following February brought his family — a wife, two sons and two 
daughters. To clear a piece of land was his first work after safely housing 
his family. But to do this in the heavy timber, alone without a team, was a 
slow and severe task. The large trunks of trees could not be removed from 
the place where they fell, and w ? ere reduced with the axe to such dimensions 
as enabled them to be carried away or burned where they fell, and being 
green at times they required an almost indefinite amount of labor and pa- 
tience. By spring, however, constant effort had not only cleared but pre- 
pared nearly two acres ready for planting to corn, potatoes and smaller 

The following winter both sons died within a week of each other, 
theirs being the first deaths in the township. They were named, respectively, 
Guian TT. and Willie S. Gardner. There was no funeral service, there being 
at that time neither minister nor neighbors in the township. They were 
interred at the cemetery at Westville. 

In 1866 William Taylor and George Wysel came in. George Steven- 
son entered land about the same time, but the wilderness did not retain him 
long, and he did not settle permanently until some years after George Wysel 
settled on section 27, near the lake which still bears his name. Both built 
cabins and brought families to the township, where they lived until their 
deaths. The same year William Wysel and William Buck came in. The 
former settled near his brother George, on section 27; the latter did not 
become a permanent settler, although he lived here for a time. William 
Wysel raised the first frame house in the township, but it was a small and 
unstable building. The first frame barn was built at Six lakes by the lum- 
ber company. The first grain barn was built by William Gardner as late as 

The next settler was John Hammel, who built a cabin near the banks 


of Flat river, in the central part of the township, but finding subsequently 
that he had made improvements on land held by another, owing to a mistake 
in taking the minutes of his land, he abandoned the claim and entered or* 
purchased a claim on section 32, where he built the first frame dwelling 
house in Belvidere, and where he resided until his death in 1879. Among 
the first settlers were Milo Rhodes, George Stevenson. John Brennon, Rode- 
rick Kennedy, Julius Rhodes and Lyman Gredy. 

Although the township was organized the year previous, no school was 
taught until the summer of t868. In the spring of that year the first school 
district, which comprised one-fourth of the township, directly south of the 
center, was set off, a meeting called, and the necessary officers elected. The 
rough boards of which the school house was made were bought with money 
raised among the inhabitants by subscription. When the material had been 
collected and the shakes for the room prepared, they assembled and the 
work of construction was of short duration. The house stood near the 
south quarter post on section 22. 


Sumnerville, the first village platted in the township, was laid out by 
L. C. Sumner upon his land in 1873. Several lots were at once sold and a 
number of business places opened, the first being that of C M. Hunt, who 
built a store and opened a stock of dry goods and groceries, lie subse- 
quently sold and removed to Ldmore, where he continued in the trade. 

The village l>eeame a place of considerable business importance, but 
when the Chicago, Saginaw & Canada railroad was completed and located 
its depot near the foot of Six lakes, the superior advantages of this place 
for a village caused Dr. J. B. Daniels and Hiram Clark to purchase seventy 
acres of land and lay out a village which they named Six Lakes, after that 
system. This land comprises the southeast quarter of the northeast quarter 
of section 16, and the northeast quarter of the southeast quarter of the same 
section, and was purchased from the government by Robert S. Kelsey and 
son, who owned two thousand two hundred and ninety-six acres, mostly 
pine lands, in the township of Belvidere. Dr. J. B. Daniels became a per- 
manent resident of his village, where he continued to reside and practice his 
profession. Hiram Clark opened a picture gallery, but did not reside in the 

The water power at this place after the death of the elder Kelsey 
passed into the possession of his son, P. B. Kelsey. At the death of Rich- 


arc! Roberts., who had been taken in as partner, the property passed into the 
possession of Boyden & Ackley, of Grand Haven. 

The aggregate amount of logs placed in Six Lakes during 1881 reached 
many millions of feet. Hie firm of Stinchfield & Company, the largest firm 
in Six Lakes, placed on an average one hundred and sixty thousand per day 
in Penny lake, James Darrah averaged forty thousand per day, and the firm 
of Moses & Company made it ten millions. 

With the passing of the timber industry in Belvidere township, Sum- 
nerville gradually begun to decline in prosperity. The few interests which 
had prospered in this town now found no means of sustenance and imme- 
diately began to leave for other parts. Stores and places of business of all 
kinds were moved away and eventually even the postoffice and depot were 
taken out of the town. At present Sumnerville is merely a little hamlet 
with a few scattered houses, but no stores or places of business of any sort. 

six LAKES. 

Six Lakes, as has been previously mentioned, was platted on May 13, 
1879, by Henry Cankin, surveyor, for Hiram S. Clark, Benjamin J. Daniels 
and Thomas Merrick, proprietors. Six Lakes, situated, as it is, on the Pere 
Marquette railroad, and the only town in Belvidere township, has taken 
quite a local prominence as a business center for this community. At pres- 
ent Six Lakes has a population of approximately five hundred people. The 
Six Lakes Elevator Company, with G. C. Marotzke as manager, carries on 
quite an extensive business in this locality. The other members of this firm 
are Fred W. Kinde and Fred M. Gross. The State Bank of Six Lakes is 
one of the strong institutions of the county. Other business firms of Six 
Lakes are C. E. Cornell, general merchandise; Ida M. Wood, general mer- 
chandise and millinery; Len Wood, hardware and drug store; M. Cart- 
wright, general merchandise'; Charles Cosselman; H. Gibson & Company, 
coal; Williams Brothers & Company, of Detroit, have a pickling station 
here. There are also other smaller businesses, as restaurants, etc. Six 
Lakes is a quiet little village with two churches. The township hall is 
also located here. In the past few years Six Lakes has taken on an added 
growth. In the past year, five dwelling houses have been erected in the 
village. This village is the potato, bean and stock market for the entire 
township. The elevator, which has recently been rebuilt with the installa- 
tion of a bean picker, does an extensive business buying these different prod- 




Bloomer was the first township organized by the supervisors of the 
newly created county of Montcalm and it was the fifth township established. 
.At the time of the establishment of Bloomer there were only four super- 
visors, one from each of the four townships. Their minutes of January 6, 
1852, state that a petition was presented with twenty signatures who were 
freeholders in township 9 north, range 5 west. It was resolved by a unani- 
mous vote of the supervisors that towns 9 and 10 north, range 5 west, 
should be set off from the township of Bushnell and organized into a new 
township to be called Bloomer. The first election was held at the house 
of John A. Miner on the first Monday in April, 1852, with the following 
persons acting as inspectors of election: Asa H. llawley, Edward Cole and 
John Richards. Upon the erection of Crystal township the present bound- 
aries of Bloomer were established. It is situated in the extreme south- 
eastern corner of the county and is bounded on the north by Crystal town- 
ship, on the east by Gratiot county, on the south by Ionia county and on 
the west by Bushnell township. 

The surface of this township is moderately undulating, and is well 
watered and drained by Fish creek and its branches. Originally the entire 
township was covered with a heavy growth of beech and maple timber, 
which up to the time of settlement, and, in fact, many years after, was the 
retreat of all kinds of wild game peculiar to Michigan. From this source 
the early settlers secured a large part of their winter provisions, and without 
it, in some instances, severest want and suffering must have ensued. 

Although Epaphroditus Ransom entered the south half of the northeast 
quarter of section t and the south half of the northwest quarter of the same 
section on the 26th of June, 1835, the largest part of the township remained 
undisturbed until the year 1849. From that time and during the years 
18.SO-52, the greater part of the land was taken as shown by the records, 
although there was no permanent settlement until 1850. After the timber 
was removed, which in itself was a great natural resource, the settlers turned 


their attention to farming and the best evidence of their success is merely to 
take a drive through this township and note the excellent state of cultiva- 
tion under which the farms are at present and also the excellent farm build- 
ings and homes, where once stood the log shanty. 


The incidents which led to adopt the word "Bloomer" for town 9 north, 
range 5 west, were as near as can be learned, as follows: At a dance held 
at the cabin of Isaac Pennington, in the winter of 1851-52, several ladies 
astonished the good deacons of the Puritanic school (who had stopped there 
tor the night) by appearing in bloomer dresses. When their surprise abated, 
the dresses were the occasion of some mild jokes, and the term became some- 
thing of a by-word in the infant colony, and when in the spring of 1852, 
a name was needed for the township, this one was adopted. This state- 
ment is discredited by some, and it is said that a number of citizens desired 
the township to be called "Bloomingdale," but as there was a township in 
Van Buren county by this name it was named Bloomer. The weight of 
testimony is entirely with the first explanation. 



Anderson Miner, sections 21, 28 320 

Jra Brooks, section 35 : 80 

Jeremiah Willson, section 26 _, 160 

James Covill, section 23 too 

Joseph Roop, section 13 ; 160 

William Sherman, section 12 80 

Hiram Hunt, section 12 80 

S. H. Pennington, section 30 160 

T. B. Colton 

Mark Wilsey 

George Benjamin 

G. H. Dennis 

The total valuation of personal property in the township of Bloomer, 
which at that time comprised also town 10 north, range 5 west, was two 
hundred and seven dollars. The aggregate valuation of real and personal 
property was sixteen thousand three hundred and twenty-seven dollars. 



The first election in the township was held at the house of Anderson 
Miner, in April, 1852, at which time there were present Anderson Miner, 
James Covill, Jonathan Cole, Ira Brooks, Edward Cole, George Benjamin, 
Sylvester Pennington, Zadock Heath, Hiram Hunt, William Sherman, 
Joseph Roop, Jeremiah Willson, John E. Miner, W. S. Miner, David Sebrig, 
Mark Wilsey, Dr. T. D. Colton, George H. Dennis. At this election the 
ballot box consisted of a soda box furnished by Mrs. Miner. She also pre- 
pared dinner for the entire company. 


The following is a list of persons who entered lands in the township of 
Bloomer : 

Section 1 — Epaphroditus Ransom (June 26, -1835), Ira Armstrong. 
Section 2 — Epaphroditus Ransom, John N. Fowler, Sylvester Bronson, Ira 
Brooks, Thomas J. Smith. Section 3 — John M. Gordon, E. L. Davis, John 
N. Eowler. Section 4 — Thankful Albro, James Cross, E. Davies, John N. 
Fowler. Section 5 — Thankful Albro, Daniel W. Clark, Edward Robinson, 
William P. Johnson, Simeon S. De Camp, John G. Williams, John N. 
Fowler, Amos A. King. Section 6 — James Donovan, John Shilling, Jr., 
Stephen E. Page, Levi Trim, Christopher Rice, Mortimer Gilleo, Lorenzo 
D. Mason, Joshua Bogart, Harvey D. Mason, Newton Gilleo, Alvin Groner. 
Section 7 — William W. King, Susan E. Clock, William Headland, Rebecca 
Headland, Benjamin Carey, Cyrus Dickenson, Alfred D. Tsham, Harvey D. 
Mason. Section 8 — Evander Spaulding, John P. Nellis, John Norris, Jr., 
Job B. Morris, Levi Smith, John G. Williams, John N: Fowler. Section 
9 — John B. Allison, James Cross, Benjamin F. Holmes, George Tibbitts, 
David Aldrich. Section 10 — James A. Dickinson, Ira Armstrong, George 
H. Dennis. Section 11 — Thomas R. Brand, John Herrick, George Winsor. 
Benjamin Fuller, John N. Fowler, William F. Bigelow, Thomas J. Smith. 
Section 12 — Epaphroditus Ransom, John M. Gordon, Robert McClelland, 
Joseph Roop, Abram Ely, Ira Armstrong, John Kipp, William Chaffin. 
Section 13 — John M. Gordon, Robert McClelland, James R. Langdon, 
Darius C. Larkins, Joseph Roop, Abram Ely. Section 14 — Israil Gillett, 
Peter B. Casler, Anthony Cornue, Joseph P. House, C. P. House, Samuel 
Clark, John T. Cornue, Cornelius Bigelow. Section 15 — John Johnson, 


Thomas Allen, Gary C. Fox, Sidney Thomas, John Cave. Section 16 — 
Moses Bean, P. Barrister, Mary Jane Carl, J. G. Bright, W. H. Chapman. 
Section ij- — Charles Benjamin, Hannah Graves, William Huffle, Joseph 
Urie, Sidney H. Sherman. Section 18 — Isaac Pennington, Charles H. Pot- 
ter, Matilda Adams, John Smith, Hugh Adams, James A. Clock, Alexander 
Adams. Section 19 — Isaac Pennington, Seth M. Root, Joseph L. Clock, 
John Richards, Sr. Section 20- — Seth M. Root, William Fancher, John 
Weaver, Robert McGill, Daniel F. Perky. Section 21 — John Fish, Ira 
Wilder, Catharine Post, Betsey Tubb, Jonathan Boyer, Isaac Piper. Sec- 
tion 22 — Nathaniel Benton, Abraham Shafer, Elizabeth Cronkrite, Peter 
Clock, Daniel Bellinger, Heman Pratt, Jay Olmstead, Mark Wilsey. Sec- 
tion 23 — James R. Langdon, Robert McClelland, James Covill, Silas Everest, 
George Covill. Section 24 — John M. Gordon, Darius C. Larkins. Section 
25 — James R. Langdon, John M. Gordon, Daniel Barker, Samuel J. Goff, 
Isaac Braman. Section 26 — James R. Langdon, John G. Welsh, Jeremiah 
Wilson, Asa Ward. Louis Lovell. Section 27 — John G. Welsh, Roswell 
Paine, Alden Giddings, Seth Roberts, George FI. Dennis, Lester C. Bennett. 
Section 28 — Anderson Miner, Henry Fargo, Alden Giddings, Thomas Bain- 
borough, Henry F. Brown, Amasa Aldrich. Section 29 — H. Tarrell, Will- 
iam M. Gardiner, John Richards, Thomas Bainborough, Jedidiah W. Lane, 
II. Bump, -John C. Blanchard, William Dorton, John W. Pew. Section 30 
— Francis Budine, Jonathan Cole, Thomas Covel, Flarvey D. /Mien, Polly 
Fowler, S. M. Cornell, A. F. Lindeley. Section 31 — Seth M. Root,- Charles 
Knapp, John X. Fowler, Calvin Peters, Richard Sinkey, William Patrick, 
George Robinson, Nelson Covell. Section 32 — Seth M. Root, Alpheus 
Ilawley, Abigail McKelvey. Thomas Stafford, Charles W. Owen, Melvin 
Laverty, Calvin Peters, Louis Lovell. Gilbert F. D. Wilson, N. Ferris. Sec- 
tion 33— John S. Decker, Stephen Stafford, John S. Hunt, William Ayers, 
Horace Beebe. Section 34 — Benton Bernard, Henry Tnnes, Henry Chaffee. 
John Minich, John Hunt. John C. Blanchard, Louis S. Lovell. Section 35 
— F. Smith, D. C. Flawley, Benton Barnard, Philip Cling. Ezekiel Ferring- 
ton. Section 36 — F. Smith.' D. C. Hawley, Daniel Barker, John Lowry, 
John Snyder. 


The township of. Bloomer was a wilderness until the year 185 1. On 
the town line between Bushnell and Bloomer a man named Francis Beudine 
had built a shanty, and occupied it some six months previous to that time. 
He entered the south half of the southwest quarter of section 30, but at the 


expiration of that time sold it to Asa Hawley, who was the second settler 
in the township. Hawley came from Jackson county and remained about 
two years, when he sold out to Charles Knapp. 

In the summer of 185 1 Jonathan Cole and Sylvester Pennington set- 
tled in the township. The land, which consisted of the southwest quarter 
of section 19, was entered in the name of Isaac Pennington, while Cole took 
up the northwest quarter of section 30. Pennington remained in the town- 
ship a number of years and then went to St. Johns, Clinton county. This 
quarter was later owned by Harvey Bump, who came to the township in 
1854. The land entered by Mr. Cole was later occupied by A. Boyer. 

The first to penetrate the heavy beech and maple forests of the interior 
of Bloomer for the purpose of making a permanent settlement was Ander- 
son Miner. 

As has been intimated, this region had long since been visited by land 
speculators or their agents, and as a consequence, considerable portions of 
land had already been entered. An abundance of game, which at almost all 
seasons roamed through the forests or found retreats in its dense and almost 
impenetrable thickets, had for many years made it the favorite resort of 
both Indian and white hunters. .Among those of the latter race was Asa 
Hawley, whose favorable reports induced Anderson Miner, in company with 
his son, Winlield Miner, to visit the southern part of Montcalm county in 
June, 1 85 1. It is unnecessary to add that they found it even surpassing in 
beauty and fertility reports theretofore hardly credited. 

Mr. Miner accordingly took the description of the northeast quarter of 
section 28, and with a soldier's land warrant, which he had received from 
the government as a recognition of his services in the War of 1812, he pro- 
ceeded to Ionia, where the government land office was then located in charge 
of Stephen Page and Frederick Hall. He soon received a duplicate of his 
land, but owing to the great rush of emigration for a number of years, the 
office at Washington had steadily fallen behind in its work and the patent 
conveying his land did not reach him until- a year and a half after the entry 
was made. 


In the following November, accompanied by his sons, John and Win- 
field, and their families, Mr. Miner, with three yoke of oxen and as many 
wagons, set out from their homes in Jackson county for the wilds of 
Bloomer. The "tips and downs" of that trip can never be described. The 
wagons, loaded down with the women and children, provisions, household 


goods, cooking utensils, fanning implements and a blacksmith's outfit; the 
crossing of streams over which there were no bridges, and the almost impass- 
able roads, made it a journey common enough, perhaps, in those days, but 
one now known only in story, and realized only by those who participated 
in it. 

In about eight days the little company reached the cabin of Asa Penn- 
ington, who kindly offered them its shelter and accommodations. Here, 
then, it was decided to leave the women and children while the men cleared 
a road to the farm entered by Mr. Miner, which was situated one mile south 
of the centre of the township. 

To complete a passable road to this place from the house of Mr. Penn- 
ington, occupied nearly a month of hard labor. The distance in an air line 
was only three miles, but the natural obstruction in the way made it neces- 
sary to cut the underbrush and timber a long way around at times, in order 
to avoid them. In this work Mr. Miner and his sons were assisted by Elder 
Wilsey, who also became a permanent settler of Bloomer. After complet- 
ing the road, a small log cabin was built, which stood on the land later owned' 
by Martin J. "Miner. The cabin was one story, twelve by fourteen feet, and 
was the first, aside from a hunter's shanty on Fish creek, erected in Bloomer. 
The orchard is also thought to have been the first in the township. These 
preliminary steps being taken. Mr. Miner went back to Jackson county, 
whence he returned with the rest of his family in January, 1862. Mr. 
Miner remained in Bloomer, one of its most esteemed citizens until his 
death, which occurred in 1878. His wife, who shared his toil, his hardships 
and his successes, lived for many years afterward. 

Soon after Mr. Miner brought his family another settlement was com- 
menced in the eastern part of Bloomer, the leading members of which were 
Joseph Roop, Hiram Hunt and William Sherman. These with their fam- 
ilies settled on land now in the limits of Carson City, or vicinity. They 
immediately built cabins and settled down to earnest work, and were among 
the best citizens of the township. Mr. Roop settled on what is now known 
as the Goolthite addition to Carson City. He cleared this land and placed 
it in a good state of cultivation, after which he sold it to Thomas Hoag. 
His. son. Clark Roop, who afterward married Clarinda Hunt, came to the 
township with him, and also cleared a farm. 

Hiram Hunt came from Erie county, New York, and settled near 
Pewamo, whence he moved to Bloomer, as stated. He settled on the north 
half of the southwest quarter of section 12. His family at that time con- 


sistcd of a wife and two children. William Sherman settled the south half 
of the southeast quarter of section 12, later owned by R. M. Affott. 


Mr. Hunt once related that at an early day a little company consisting 
of ten or twelve individuals resolved to visit Crystal lake which had already 
become somewhat noted. None of these, however, had ever been there, 
and without knowing its exact location, started early one morning in the 
direction indicated by a gentleman who had entered a tract of land in the 
vicinity, and whose glowing description made them still more impatient and 
desirous to see it. When near the Bloomer and Crystal line the entire com- 
pany were brought to a sudden halt by one of their number, who, being a 
little in advance, held up what appeared to be the bones of a human hand. 
In a few moments, when the amazement gave way somewhat to curiosity, 
the opinion of a young man from Gratiot county, who represented himself 
as a physician, was demanded. He turned the immense "hand" over several 
times, and then with two or three nods and a long breath (in the manner of 
an experienced physician who has made out a satisfactory diagnosis of his 
case), handed it back, and as he did so, said, "Yes; that's what it is." "What 
is it?" came from half the party. "A man's hand," replied the would-be 
doctor. Tie asserted with confidence something about which he knew noth- 
ing whatever. Then came the search for the body, or any clue to solve the 
manner and mystery of death. All efforts were unavailing. 

The party, which up to this time had been one of extreme merriment 
and hilarity, became at once the counterpart of a funeral procession and as 
the}- passed on their way the moody silence was occasioned not through fear 
for personal safety, but melancholy theories with which each tried to satisfy 
his own mind. Some of these were advanced for the good of the rest. 
"Some one had lost his way, had wandered about until exhausted, had sunk 
down and had been devoured by bears or wolves, with which the woods 
were infested." The theory that some one had first been shot by a lurking 
savage or border ruffian was less credited. But they kept on their way, 
and when in the vicinity of the lake came to a level space, evidently not 
long since the camping ground of a large band of Indians. Here after a 
successful hunt, they had gorged themselves on bear and venison, the bones 
of which were scattered in every direction. On one side there was a little 
stack of the bones of bears' feet that would fill an ordinary wagon box, evi- 


dently the collection of several years, and upon examination it was found 
that they corresponded exactly with those found on the way. They con- 
cluded, therefore, that they were thrown away by some Indian who had 
made a repast of tender roast bear's paw. 


In the fall of 1853, C. R. Dickinson, a native of Addison county, Ver- 
mont, came to Bloomer and purchased the east half of the southeast quarter 
of section 28, this being- part of the entry made by Alden Giddings. Mr. 
Dickinson subsequently married Hannah Terrell, daughter of H. Terrell, 
who settled on section 29. Mr. Terrell having collected and prepared 
material for a commodious log house, was requested by Mrs. Terrell (pre- 
paratory to raising the same) to go to Ionia and procure meats for the occa- 
sion. The morning before the raising however, he and his sons, Reuben 
rind James, went into the woods not far distant, and in less than an hour 
each killed a fine deer. 

In 1854 Hiram Roop, from Fulton county, Ohio, became a resident of 
the township. The same year a Mrs. Bishop came to Bloomer and bought 
the southeast quarter of section 13 and the northeast quarter of section 24. 
She was a lady of most estimable character and always retained the esteem 
of those who knew her. Tn the fall of the same year John and Paul Mur- 
ray, who afterwards purchased a part of this tract, came to the township; 
they were from the "Province of Quebec, County of the Two Mountains, 
Scenery of the Argent Isle, Town of La Chute, Canada." 

In May, 1855. H. M. Robinson came in and bought the farm of John 
Murray. Paul Murray paid for his first cow by felling the timber on five 
acres of ground, and gathered his first harvest on a sled. 

G. W. Palmer, a native of England, settled on a farm in this township 
on the iqth of May, 1855. This was a part of the tract owned by Mrs. 
Bishop, as was also the land later owned by J. Barrett and Peter Goolthite. 
Mr. Palmer also bought forty acres from John M. Gordon, who had entered 
four hundred acres in this vicinity. 

Isaac J. Burt, who also settled in this vicinity, married the daughter of 
William Sherman. He first settled in the town of North Shade. The 
land originally settled by Daniel Parker was later occupied by H. F.' Blanch- 
ard, who opened the first stock of goods in Matherton. 

In the meantime, while these settlements were being made in the eastern 
and southern part of the township, other localities received many additions, 


some before and some later, in the person of such men as R. Bogart, C. E. 
Decker, in the south; Jonathan Boyer, T. Cliff e, J. Grace, A. S. Richardson 
and C. Smith, in the center; X. L. Otis, A. Boyer, S. T. Richardson, J. 
Mitchell, C. Fowler and H. II. Fowler, in the west; and C. King, A. R. 
J sham, P. Long and E. Benton, in the northwest. These immediate local- 
ities, and especially in the vicinity of Miner's Corners were hives of industry 
and activity. 

Mr. Miner had opened a blacksmith shop (the first in Bloomer), and 
often he and his son, Winlield, were pounding away from early morning till 
late at night. To repair the chains and others implements necessary in 
clearing and improving a new country is an important item in its welfare. 

Schools had been started in the eastern and central parts, and religious 
meetings were regularly attended, but these were not the only indications of 
permanent prosperity. A saw-mill was built in the township of Crystal 
(then a part of Bloomer), from which timber was drawn in considerable 
quantities, and improvements from this time were more rapid. 

There is record of the marriage of James Covel to Miss Fairbanks, 
which was the first wedding in the township, and also the birth of the first 
child, Nathan \Y. Cole, son of Edward Cole, who had settled on the north- 
west quarter of section 30. The next birth was that of Frances, daughter 
of Winfield S. Miner. 

The first postoffice was kept by A. K. Richardson in a little cabin which 
stood on the southeast corner of section 21. The mail was carried from 
Greenville to Tthaca by a man named Godfrey O. Morgan. He was subse- 
quently killed in a dense undergrowth by a hunter who mistook him for a 
deer. From the list of early settlers should not be omitted the name of 
George Benjamin, an engineer from Chicago. He was the first supervisor 
of the township. After two or three clays' hard labor he succeeded in fell- 
ing a large tree (probably the first in his lifetime) and after endeavoring 
as much longer to convert it into ashes, with hands blistered and clothes 
torn, he concluded that farming for one's health was a failure, and left the 


Carson City, Bloomer township, which is situated on sections 12 and 
12, on land originally entered in part by Joseph Roop, July 2, 18^0, was- 
founded by Thomas Scott and two nephews, John and Thomas LaDue. 
about 1867. Scott had returned from Carson City, Nevada, in its boom 
days and gave its name to the village in Montcalm county. 


The patent for the land entered by Joseph Roop was granted on May 
8, 1851, and covered the west half of the southeast quarter of section 12. 
Abram Ely entered the east half of the same quarter on December 20, 185 1. 
These lands were later occupied by R. M. Abbott. The east half of the 
southwest quarter of section \2 was entered on November 2, 1836, and the 
patent therefore received was dated on November 2, 1837. Robert McClel- 
land's patent for the west half of the same quarter bears the same date. 
It was entered on November 8, 1836. The northwest quarter of section 13 
was entered by James R. Langdon on December 16, 1836, and by Darius 
C. Larkins on August 13, 1849. The northeast quarter of section 13 was 
also entered by Joseph Roop and Abram Ely. The former took the west 
half and the latter the east half. 

Carson City was platted on land owned by R. M. Abbott, Delia Miner 
and H. T. Sherman, October 10, 1866, and recorded on February 28, 1872. 
The first lot was sold to Thomas Scott and John and Thomas LaDue, as 
above noted, who under the firm name of Scott & LaDue, built a saw-mill 
in the fall of 1868. Tt was the first in the village. They also built a grist- 
mill about two years afterward. These enterprises gave the village an 
impetus and the building and business interests in general grew up very 

This mill built by Scott & LaDue. has had an interesting history. 
Shortly after Scott's death. William Youngs obtained an interest in the enter- 
prise and E. C. Cummings. now a well-known banker of Carson City, bought 
out Youngs' interest and operated the mill for a time in partnership with 
Thomas LaDue. Subsequently, Mr. Cummings bought out Mr. LaDue and 
he traded the mill to Lorenzo M. Lyon and Luther M. Jones for two farms. 
Mr. Cummings had made money out of the enterprise. After operating the 
mill for a number of years, it came into possession of E. D. Lyon, a son of 
Lorenzo M. Lyon, and George M. Jones, an adopted son of Luther M. 
Jones. George M. Jones was succeeded in the business by George K. Dan- 
iels and the enterprise is now operated by Lyon & Daniels, who have a splen- 
did local trade. 

Luther M. Jones died at Carson City, April 28, 1911, at the advanced 
age of eighty years. Lorenzo M. Lyon and George M. Jones were still living 
in 1915. 

Addison IT. Mack, who bought a lot and built a small store building 
near the grist-mill, opened the first stock of goods in the village. Mr. Mack 
was soon succeeded by H. P. Miller who opened a good assortment of gen- 


eral merchandise. Mr. Miller, who died in the nineties at the age of sixty- 
five, also had built the Miller House which took the place of Hinds' Tavern. 
Mr. Miller's daughter and son-in-law operate the house today. In this con- 
nection it may be said that the old Laphan hotel, which was operated for 
many years, was a landmark. The first hotel, however, was built by Hiram 
and Daniel Hunt, father and son. 

The first hardware store was opened by Sullivan E. Felch, in the large 
building which was known as the Proctor store building, the property of 
Alonzo Proctor. Augustus Barnum, Elmer Lewis and Anson Davenport 
were connected with the early business interests of the village. 

Brower & Howe built up a planing-mill and sash- and blind- factor)-, 
which was subsequently owned by Lacy & Acker, in whose possession it was 
at the time it burned. This was a serious loss to the town. Lacy & Acker 
also erected a saw-mill which proved a failure and resulted in the dissolution 
of the partnership. A siding- and shingle-mill was built by John Taft 
which was subsequently moved to the north of Edmore. Tn 1878. another 
sash- and blind-factory was built by H. T. Sherman, which was equipped 
with machinery and modern appliances. This establishment is now extinct. 
A steam saw-mill and car factory, which was a valuable addition to the vil- 
lage, was moved to Saginaw. During his life, Hiram Roop operated a 
large apiary. 


Carson City, while not a manufacturing center, has several thriving 
enterprises at the present time, all of which are duly noted in the chapter on 
Montcalm county industries. Here, however, it is well to enumerate them. 
A planing-mill and machine-shop is run by J. T. Waters; a large elevator 
by the Rockafellow Grain Company; a cheese factory operated by Erank H. 
Miner; electric light plant operated by the Rockafellow Grain Company, and 
the flour-mill operated by Lyon & Daniels. 

Francis A. Rockafellow, who was the founder of the Rockafellow enter- 
prises in Carson City and who (lied there on February 23, 1904, at the age 
of fifty-five, was a prominent man in the life of the village for twenty years 
or more. 

Sheldon H. Caswell, who founded the business in furniture and under- 
taking now operated by his son, E. S. Caswell, in a magnificent building in 
the heart of the village, was born in Oneida county, New York, February 
[5, 1846. He removed to Portland, Michigan, at the age of twenty-one and 
engaged there in the shoe business. After his store burned, he came to 



Carson City in Novem1>er, 1872, and engaged in moving buildings and sell- 
ing sewing machines. In 1874, he purchased a furniture and undertaking 
business and managed this enterprise until 1894 when he removed to Newark, 
Xew York. There he remained fourteen years and in 1908 removed to Los 
Angeles. F. S. Caswell succeeded to the business in June, 1894. 

George A. Thayer was in the general mercantile business where the 
Carson City State Bank now stands. .Although he retired a great many 
years ago, he is still living. 

George R. Gibbs, former postmaster of the village, was prior to his 
term as postmaster a blacksmith and wagon manufacturer. He came to 
Carson City just before Sheldon H. Caswell. Mr. Gibbs has been retired 
for many years. 

Fletcher Reasoner, who died at Carson City on December 28, 19 14, at 
the age of seventy-two, was in the general mercantile business for many 

John and Paul Murray, brothers, were prominent in the business life 
of Carson City for a long time. The former died on July 25, 1888, and the 
latter, the father of L. W. Murray, present manager of the Rockafellow 
Grain Company, died on December 14, 1883. John Murray was fifty-eight 
vears old at the time of his death, and his brother, Paul Murray, was forty- 

Among the thriving enterprises of Carson City at the present time are 
The Gittleman Company, T. Krohn, Carson City Produce Company, A. E. 
Gunther. W. O. Canouts, Brooks & Sons, Patrick J. McKenna, Chester R. 
Culver and John Price. 

Carson City, which was incorporated in 1887, has an assessed valuation 
at the present time of approximately $900,000. Its population is given as 
808 by the 19 10 census but it is now estimated at nearly 1,100. In 1904, 
the census gave the population as 891 of whom 419 were males and 472 
females. At this time, 832 citizens were native born and fifty-nine foreign 
born. Tn 1904 Carson City enumerated' 247 children of school age, five to 
nineteen years, of whom 1 t 5 were males and 132 females. Of these chil- 
dren, 243 were native and four foreign born. The character of the popula- 
tion has probably changed very little since that time, 1904 being the last 
official state census. 


Carson City lies in the center of a rich agricultural country where the 
land is worth from $100 to $150 an acre and where corn, wheat, oats, hay. 


beans and sugar beets are raised in abundance. The farmers living in the 
country adjacent to Carson City and, in fact, in the country tributary to it, 
are splendid farmers who have gone on from year to year improving the 
land by every method known to modern agriculture. Bloomer township was 
a pioneer in road building and as a consequence the farmers enjoy the use 
of roads second to none in the county. They have always been liberal 
spirited in the expenditure of money for this purpose. Good roads have 
made marketing easy and especially the marketing of the products of their 
dairies which are sold to the cheese factory, operated now by Frank FT. 
Miner, but established by Henry Fitzpatrick. The dairy industry has made 
not only the village but the country surrounding it, extremely prosperous. 

The Carson City Town and Country Improvement Association, organ- 
ized in February, 1915, succeeded the Carson City Boosters' Club and is well 
organized for the purpose of improving the village, bringing factories to the 
community, and keeping the town clean. There is an executive committee 
for the town section and one for the country section. The former consists 
of F. B. Stebbins, Ira Cummings, L. W. Murray, F. S. Brooks, Charles H. 
Adams. F. S. Caswell, William F. Adams, IT. F. Cowdin and William 
Hutting. The latter consists of William T. Hill. T. M. Wilson. Walter 
Herrick, O. W. Wilson, Martin Grace. Valois Todd, R. W. Brice and M. H. 
Kipp. The president is Dr. J. P. Taylor: vice-president, F. D. Lyon; 
secretary. Chester R. Culver, and treasurer, Will L. Wright. 

This association advertises that Carson City is "the best and biggest 
little city in the state, located in the heart of the best agricultural district in 
the state, in Bloomer, the best township in Montcalm county, and which has 
an assessed valuation of $2,013,005/' The association also points out that 
Carson City has a modern brick school house, built in 1891, with a $15,000 
addition, built in 1915; an up-to-date course of study with nine teachers 
and is on the approved list of the University of Michigan. St. Mary's 
Academy, built in 1907, has a faculty of five members and a special music 
department. The town has a Woman's (Tub of sixty-six members, the usual 
fraternal societies and a fine theatre seating live hundred people. The vil- 
lage is equipped with electric lights and has its own water system. There 
are five churches, Methodist, Congressional, Catholic, Baptist and Seventh- 
Day Adventists. The ('arson City State Bank and the Farmers and Mer- 
chants State Bank have combined resources of $556,045.49. Moreover, the 
village is located advantageously with reference to other points, being twentv- 
two miles from Greenville, twenty miles from Stanton, twenty-three miles 
from Alma, twenty miles from Ithaca, twenty-eight miles from St. Johns 



and twenty-five miles from Ionia. The Carson City Gazette, owned and 
published by H. E. Cowdin, is an excellent newspaper. 

Carson City is located on a division of the Grand Trunk railway, which 
was built through the village in 1887. At one time a railroad was projected 
through Carson City running north and south, generally, and called the 
Marshall & Northern. Although the roadbed was graded for many miles, 
it was never completed. 

Carson City people are very proud of the care with which the ceme- 
tery laving to the northwest of the village and consisting of some acres is 
kept. The cemetery is managed and maintained by the East Bloomer Ceme- 
tery Society, organized on February 21, 1867, at the Roop school house. 
At the first meeting of this society, William S. Everest was elected presi- 
dent and Hiram T. Sherman, clerk. Hiram Hunt was named as treasurer 
and William Roop as sexton. The society was incorporated in 1867 ant ^> 
eight years after its charter had expired, was re-incorporated in 1905. The 
president of the society is Mrs. A. L. Luce, the secretary is F. S. Caswell, 
and the treasurer, Ira Cummings. The trustees include, besides the officers, 
Mrs. E. W. Murray, Thomas Gardner, Airs. J. Tennant, Mrs. Julia F. 
C hamberlin. Mrs. Emma Sweet and W. L. Wright. 

The village of Carson City is what might be called a "Saturday night 
town." Generally the streets are filled with people at the close of each . 
week's work. Although the streets are not paved, they are well graveled 
and the sidewalks are built of cement. About ten years ago there was a 
somewhat protracted controversy over the grading of the main street. The 
grade was first changed in order to furnish surface drainage to citizens liv- 
ing in the west end of the village but the old grade lines were practically 
restored after a bitter light and considerable litigation. 

Numerous (ires have occurred in Carson City, but by all odds the worst 
lire occurred on August 29, J904, about nine o'clock in the morning, when 
the tank of a gasoline stove used in W. M. Harden's lunch room exploded. 
Before the alarm could be sounded the whole building was in flames. They 
spread rapidly and in two hours the business places from P. J. McKenna's 
store to that of F. A. Wright were in ruins. The total loss amounted to 
about $50,000. Since that fire, the whole section of the city has been rebuilt 
with modern, well-equipped store buildings. 


Among the prominent citizens of Carson City, who belong to a past 
generation, several may be mentioned here. Others, still living, will receive 


brief mention. Charles IT. Morse, who served as state labor commissioner, 
as a representative in the Legislature from Gratiot county and also as a 
state senator, was a colonel in the Civil War. He died on March 21, 1914, 
at the age of seventy-six. Mrs. Morse lives in Carson City. 

Charles Dickinson, who was supervisor from Bloomer township for 
twenty-five years, was a resident of Carson City. His son, Charles Dickin- 
son, is president of the Montcalm county board of supervisors at the present 

Spencer G. Millard, who for many years was superintendent of the 
Carson City schools, studied law and was admitted to practice in Tonia 
county. He later removed to California where he was elected lieutenant- 
governor and where he was a candidate for United States Senator. He is 
now deceased. 

Eugene D. Straight, although reared in Gratiot county, a short distance 
from. Carson City, taught school at Carson City for five years. Mr. Straight 
is at present school commissioner of Montcalm county and has held the 
office for many years. 

Robert Montgomery, former register of deeds in Montcalm county, 
lives at present five miles southwest of ("arson City in Bloomer township. 

A. L. Bemis. who edited and published the Gazette for many years died 
at Carson City on /August 5, 1912, at the age of fifty-four. 

Ophir R. Cioodno, who served many years as treasurer of Bloomer 
township and who was otherwise prominent in local politics, died August 
4, 1906, at the age of sixty-five. 

William C. Fife, who was repeatedly elected to the office of township 
treasurer of Bloomer township, died on April 13. 1912, at the age of thirty- 

The Rev. Peter K. Shutter, who died on December r, 1901, at the age 
of seventy-four, served many years as postmaster of the village and was also 
one of the first ministers of the Baptist church. 

The pioneer physicians of Carson City and Bloomer township as well 
as old-time attorneys, have received mention elsewhere in this volume. 

Needless to say, the public affairs of Carson City are well managed: 
the streets are kept in good repair; the fire department, which consists of 
two hose carts, a hook and ladder wagon and fifteen hundred feet of hose, 
is well organized; the village is kept scrupulously clean and the village well 
attains its claim of being "the best and biggest little city in the state." 

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The present officials of the city include Edward D. J .yon, president ; 
R. E. Brooks, clerk; jess R. Combs, treasurer; H. G. Heaton, assessor, and 
C. H. Adams, Jay Dean, A. C. McCrary, R. H. McDougall, C. F. Wright 
and C. A. Sweet, trustees. The village attorney is A. B. Goodwin, who is 
also the present postmaster. 

("arson City, as stated heretofore, was incorporated in 1887. The 
presidents of the village elected since its incorporation and the dates of their 
election are as follow: John \V. Hallet, 1887; Thomas T. Dixson, 1889; 
l'eter K. Shutter, 1890; George A. Thayer, 1891 ; DeGayler L. Straight, 
1892; Thomas T. Dixson, 1893; George W. Caldwell, 1894; Joshua Ten- 
nant, 1896; A. Y. Sessions, 1897; William C. Smith, 1899; Thomas T. 
Dixson, i(.)Oo; Vinal B. Luce, 190J ; Alfred B. Loomis (appointed to fill 
vacancy). 190 1 ; Henry G. Heaton, 1902; George W. Cadwell, 1903; C. F. 
Fowler, 1904; George K. Daniels, 1908; P. Morris Netzorg, 1909; A. B. 
Goodwin. 1910; Ira Cummings, T912; E. S. Brooks, 1913; E. D. Lyon, 

The roll of clerks of the village since 1887 follows: Ophir R. Goodno. 
1887; Samuel J. Smith. T889; William J. Shutter, 1890; William J. Loomis. 
1893; C. F. E. Luce. 1896: A. B. Goodwin, 1897; L. A. Lyon, T906; l r red 
Guuther, Jr., 1908; R. E. Brooks, T913. 

The roll of village treasurers follows: L. A. Lyon, 1887; Samuel J. 
Smith. 1890; Frank Hale. T892; S. J. Smith, 1893; Isaac Pitt, 1894.; 
A. V. Sessions, 1895; William A. Smith, 1897; W. IT. Thayer, 1899; George 
Knickerbocker, 1901: Fred A. Wright, 1902; C. A. Evey, 1904; Frank H. 
Miner, 1906; F. A. Wright, 1908; P. J. McKenna, 1909; E. S. Brooks, 
19T1 : M. Straight, 1913: J. R. Combs, 1915. 

Assessors of Carson City since its incorporation follow: V. B. Luce, 
1887; \V. A. Sweet. 1890; L. A. Lyon, 1894; H. G. Heaton. 1913. 

The trustees of the village since 1887 have been as follows: Thomas 
I Dixson, George M. Jones, Frank Rockafellow, Zadock S. Heath, Fred 
Cumber and Sylvester Stowe, 1887; Lafayette L. Trask, A. C. McCrary and 
L. M. Jones, 1888: John A. Hogan and Charles A. Sweet, 1889; Nelson W. 
Daggett, 1890; E. C. Cummings, William C. Hubbard, Joshua Tennant and 
Eugene L. Hamilton, 1891 ; John A. Hogan, Frank H. Miner and Emmet 
IT. Brower, 1892; George M. Thomas, George M. Jones and B. W. McVeigh, 


1893; Henry P. Miller, Vinal B. Luce and Alfred B. Loomis, 1894; George 
M. Thomas, George M. Jones and B. W. McVeigh, 1895; Peter S. Hawken, 
George W. Garner. George H. Lester and W. A. Gardner, 1896; Vinal B. 
Luce, George M. Jones and Alfred B. Loomis, 1897; George W. Garner, 
George H. Lester and Peter S. Hawken, 1898; Ruben Clark, Harley G. 
Garlock and William J. Miner, 1899; J. D. VanSickle, IT. G. Sessions, 
George W. Garner and Uriah Brillhart, 1900; Charles F. Fowler, George 
M. Jones, John IT. Blakeslee and Uriah Brillhart, 190T ; George W. Garner, 
Charles R. Culver, Joseph D. Van Sickle and James Rundeo, 1902 ; Fred 
Gunther, Sr., John W. Hallet and Richard C. Cowe. 1903; George K. Dan- 
iels, George W. Garner and J. D. VanSickle, 1904; Fred Gunther, Sr., Orrin 
A. Myers and F. S. Caswell, 1905; John C. Chamberlin, Fred J. (Tiaml^er- 
lin. William E. Adams and George Walt, 1906; Dennis S. Sullivan, John B. 
Schofield and IT. G. Heaton, 1907; Edgar S. Brooks, Perry C. Older and 
William F. Gunther, 1908; George Lowe, Charles R. Culver, J. H. Blakes- 
lee and William E. Adams, 1909; Ray E. Warner, Louis Ligram and Walter 
Lowe, 1910; George R. Lowe, P. J. McKenna. A. R. Allsopp and Martin 
Straight, 1911; Walter Lowe, F. S. Caswell and Charles H. Adams. 1912; 
Fred Snyder. J. R. Combs, A. C. McCrary and M. A. Rice, 1913; R. H. 
McDougall, Charles IT. Adams and C. F. Wright. 19T4; A. C. McCrary, 
J. Dean and C. A. Sweet. T915. 


There is only one other village in the township of Bloomer. This 
bears the name of Butternut and is merely a small settlement located just 
east of Carson City on the Grand Trunk railroad. It has at present a post 
office with Mrs. L. Greek as postmistress and the only business interests of 
the town is the butternut cheese factory. This factory does a nice business 
and is well patronized by the farmers and dairy men in this locality. But- 
ternut has never been platted and is associated with the township in its 

The present population of Butternut is one hundred and fifty. Libby, 
McNeil and Libby have a salting station located in Butternut. The Eagle 
hotel is at present under the management of Mrs. Co win. Benton & Kerr 
own and operate the elevator which deals in beans and all kinds of grain. 
The bank of Butternut does a general banking business. Dr. J. Cowin is 
the physician of the village and also has a drug store. 


The other business firms of the village are: Ray Dehart, grocery; 
A. Conklin, general merchandise; Deer's hardware and implement store; 
DeTIart's general merchandise; Highbee and Bhiemby, stock buyers, buy 
quite extensively and this is noted for being one of the best stock markets 
on this branch of the Grand Trunk railroad. Ira Ginther is the village 



Bushnell was the second township established in Montcalm county and 
in reality was the first organized in the newly created territory, as Montcalm 
township had been established live years previous while this territory was 
still attached to Ionia county. This township was organized bv an act of 
the state Legislature and dates its existence from the same time as that of 
the county, as the two were created by the same act of March 20, T850. 

The first election in the township was held at the house of Joseph 
Stevens, "for the purpose of choosing officers of said township," on the 12th 
of April, 1850. (". \Y. Olmstead was chosen moderator; James (lock, 
clerk; Edwin H. Stevens and Jeremiah Mabie, inspector of election. The 
polls were closed at three o'clock, when it was found that the greatest num- 
ber of votes cast was twelve, and the following persons were declared elected : 
Chauncey W. Olmstead, supervisor; William llusker, clerk; Edwin Tl. 
Stevens, treasurer; James S. Bacon, Henry A. Allen, Edwin IT. Stevens and 
Chauncey YV. Olmstead. justices of the peace; Jeremiah Mabie. James Clock 
and Joseph Stevens, commissioners of the highways; Chauncey W. Olmstead 
and William Mulnix, school inspectors; James Clock, William Mulnix and 
Joseph Stevens, directors of the poor. The meeting then voted that a bounty 
of one dollar should be paid for every wolf killed in the township, and also 
that no license for the sale of intoxicating beverages should be granted, 
after which it adjourned, to meet at the same place the next year. 

Bushnell township lies geographically in the southeastern part of the 
county. It is bounded on the east by Bloomer township, on the south by 
Ionia county, on the west by Eairplain township and on the north by Ever- 
green. It is described in the government survey as town 9 north, range 6 
west. This township takes its name from a young man by the name of 
Bushnell who was at that time clerk of the house of Representatives. When 
first organized Ikishnell included townships 9 and 10 north, ranges s and 6 
west, or what has later constituted the townships of Evergreen, Crystal and 
Bloomer, but with the formation of these townships it was reduced to its 
present limits. 


Prairie creek receives no tributary from the east, but three small streams 
How into it from the west. The southernmost branch is the outlet of Snow 
lake, near the centre of which is the corner of sections 29, 30, 31, 32. The 
central branch, which is usually known as Bacon's creek, drains a small pond 
on the northwest quarter of section 12. 

Another small stream in the neighborhood of the old Dean mill unites 
with a small stream from the north. The stream thus formed flows east- 
ward, and unites with another from Evergreen to form Prairie creek. 
There are several small bodies of water near this stream. One — Allen's 
lake, so named from the first settler in the township — is in the southeast 
quarter of section 2^. 

Pickerel lake is on the northwest quarter of section 26. Tt will thus 
he seen that almost the entire township of Bushnell forms a basin sloping 
towards the western half of section 26, where the waters are collected and 
passing through Prairie creek flow into Tonia county. This is a part of the 
( Jrand river system. 


The following list contains the names of those who purchased from the 
general government of the state lands situated in this township: 

Section t — Jesse Stump, Benjamin Casey, George S. Griffin, N. D. 
Hart. Levi Trim, George Bartholomew, Columbia Page, Joseph Hartwick. 
Section 2- Andrew S. Philips, N. S. Benton, John W. Dunn, L. H. Smith, 
( aroiine Brotherton, Benona Dickinson, Almon Charles, John Afntz, 
( harles Brown, Thomas Cornell, E. I 1 . Taylor. Section 3 — Caleb Mills, 
John C. Hlanchanl, James R. Griswold, John Gillett, Zerah Willoughby, D. 
A Elliott, Einus W. Vickery, Xorman Eirmby. Ira Haws, Doctor F. Barnes. 
Section 4 — Caleb Mills, Frederick Hall, Absalom Gillenwater, John C. 
IHanchard, Cornelius C. Darling, J. Gilfin, Grin Knapp, Austin P. Gallup, 
George Holland. Section 5 — Joel Soule, Samuel C. Kinyon, Tobias C. 
Haynor. Frederick Hall, Noah Bennett, Austin P. Gallup, Clark Harring- 
ton. Erastus P. Brown. Section 6— Nathaniel Foster, Asaph Belcher, 
Christopher G. Tyler, Levi Brainard, Americus Smith, S. Moore, George L. 
Week, Fred Hall. Section 7 — Whitman Stoddard, Nathaniel Foster, 
Chanccy Beckwith, Edward Soule, Joel Soule, John Wabesis, Joseph P. 
Powell, Americus Smith, George D. Van Alstine. Section 8 — Jerold Bander, 
J. Howard, Whitman Stoddard, Hezekiah McDaniels, Howland Soule, 
James L. Jennings, Henry Hull, William Terrington, Jedediah Austin, John 
C. Dexter, Hannah Burgess, Clarinda Van Keuren, Noah Bennett, Roswell 


Nettleton, Orson Cheeny. Section 9 — Rufus Wells, Dexter Smith, Maria 
Pitcher, A. Gillenwater, William Bush, Alexander D. W. Dodge, Royal J. 
Perkins. Section to — Mary Hill, John Grinnels, John C. Blanchard. Sec- 
tion 11 — William Knox, Andrew L. Phillips, Stephen F. Page, Willard 
Corser, John C. Blanchard, Albert Kent. Section 12 — Joseph Stephens, 
John G. Eckert, Anthony Hill, Jesse Stump, Joseph L. Clock, William 
Cooper, Charles A. Umbenhauer, Calvin Lyons, D. F. Barnes. Section 13 
— Frederick Hall, Joseph Clock, Philander R. Howe, James Clock. Section 
14 — Isaac Pennington. Alvin Bartholomew, Samuel Rose, Julius Jennings, 
Stephen Page, Lewis J. Trim. Section 15— Thomas Arthurington, John 
M. Lamb, Lewis J. Trim, Stephen F. Page, John C. Blanchard. Section 16 
—P. Hall, F. Hall. William Bisj, John II. Williams, George P. Tyler, James 
Sharp, Thomas Worthington, William Bush, Charles Lamb, N. S. Wood. 
Section 17- —John C. Snow, Hosea Bennett, Josiah Bennett, Moses Bennett. 
George Lamb, Orson A. Cheeny, John E. Morrison, Edwin Hall, Caleb M. 
Wade. Christopher Tyler. Section 18— George R. Lamb, Artemus Gleason, 
Roswell R. Edwards, John A. Rosback, Chauncey Beckwith, Henry J. 
Cheeny, Artemus Gleason, Leonard . Kirby. Section to, — Albert Deitz, 
William Adams, Roswell R. Edwards, Edward Decker, Sanford Yeomans, 
E. M. Cheeny, Caleb M. Wade, James Henderson. Section 20— Albert 
Deitz, Daniel Kellogg, James Fitch, Moses Bennett, Tsaac Randall, Benjamin 
FTamilton, David Hall Section 21 — James S. Bacon, John Dickerson. John 
J. Hammell, James Bacon, Mary Bacon. Section 22 — Moses T. Bennett, 
William Husker, Jason Mills, Joseph Gallup, Peter Tucker, Alonzo Curtis, 
Frederick Sapp, Peter Tucker, Jason Mills. Section 23 — Henry A. Allen, 
Charles S. Smith, James A. Clock, Joseph Gallup, Jr., Alonzo Curtis, Stephen 
Page, John J. Llammel, Frederick Sapp. Section 24 — James Whitaker, 
Charles Rick, Charles Stevens, Orin Green, William S. Smith, Isaac Philips, 
L. Griffin. Section 25 — Thomas White, Levi Cox. Jeremiah Baringer, Will- 
iam Whitaker. Section 26 — Jacob Bargy, Albert Van Vleck, Isaac Herring- 
ton, Morris W. Maine, Daniel Heath, Isaac Jason, George Jason, William 
Castel, Isaac Shurte, D. F. Barnes. Section 27 — William IT. Weed, Joseph 
Young, William Castel. Joseph Stevens, Lyman Stevens, S. Dickinson, 
Chauncy W. Olmsted. Section 28 — Solomon Myers, Albert Van Vleck, 
Franklin Herrick, Christopher G. Tyler, Jeremiah Taylor, John M. Cole, 
Joseph P. Powell, Gotlieb Haytlauff, Lewis H. Ranson. Section 29— -God- 
frey Wohlben, Philip Slaght. James Fitch, Olive Hall, William E. Alchin, 
Louis S. Lovell, Stephen F. Page, David F. Ferguson. Section 30— Alonzo 
Wood, Mansfield Harrison, E. B. Soule, Covington Blanchard, Stephen 


Page. Section 31— -Edwin Comstock, Boswell Bennett, Solomon Bacon, 
John West, Andrew Benedict, John C. Ferguson. Section 32 — George W. 
Stevens, George W. Hewett, Edwin Comstock, William Campbell, Cyrus 
Gilbert, W. M. Youngs, Richard B. White. Section 33— Thomas Magrath, 
Philip Shaffer, Jeremiah Mabie, Moses Wells. Section 34 — William Devore, 
William IT. Weed, Edwin TT. Stevens, Leander Millard, Joseph Stevens, 
Jeremiah Mabie, Julia Olmstead, Lyman Stevens, L. White. Section 35 — 
John Van Vleck. John B. Welch, Jeremiah Mabie, Peter Van Vleck, Adaline 
Bolton, John B. White, Joseph B. Miner, Rebecca Schute, D. T. Barnes. 
Section 36 — John B. Welch, Oscar F. Gladding, Aaron Sloan, Thomas 
Covell. Caroline Sloan, Dennis Cranson, Roderick H. Wood, William Tyler, 
Sally P. Taylor, Stephen Ackles, Orin IToisington, William TTowarth, 
Harvey Ilowarth. 


As near as can now be ascertained, Henry A. Allen, who came to Bush- 
ncll and built a small log cabin near the lake on the north half of the south- 
east quarter of section 23, was the first settler in the township. Of his 
nativity and life previous to his settlement here, but little is known. He 
was a man of little energy, and to use the expression of an old settler, "he 
hunted, fished, and made staves, alternately," and on the whole, lived an 
easy life. His wife died about the year 1850, and he subsequently sold his 
farm to John J. ITammel and moved from the township. Mr. Hammel 
became a resident of the township in the winter of 1851-52, and was elected 
clerk of the township in 1852. He remained here a number of years, and 
then moved to the northern part: of Michigan. 

William Devore was the second settler in the township and the first on 
the west side of Prairie creek in Bushnell. He remained but a few years. 
A brother-in-law and wife came to the township soon after but the sisters 
became' very much depressed, and persuaded their husbands to return to 
Xew York, which they accordingly did, about the year 1848. 

As early as the summer of 1843 a young man named William Weed 
came to the hospitable cabin of Elder John Van Vleck, in the north part of 
Ionia county. He was of prepossessing appearance, and his ready conver- 
sation soon secured him admission to the hospitalities of this home on the 
very edge of civilization. The good deacon not only gave him much infor- 
mation in regard to desirable lands but volunteered the following day to 
show him some choice pieces near at hand. One of these, the west half of 
the southeast quarter of section 27, was a beautiful plain sloping to the 


northeast. It is told even at this late day that this piece was intended by 
the deacon as an inheritance for some son-in-law whom heretofore he had 
only seen when his eyes were closed. However this may be, William Weed 
entered it and then returned to his home at Salem, Washtenaw county. He 
soon induced his father-in-law, Joseph Stevens, to visit the township, and he 
being well pleased with that section, purchased this piece of Mr. Weed, and 
a considerable tract in addition on the north part of section 34. Mr. Weed 
did not return to Bushnell. 

The purchase of Mr. Stevens ultimately resulted in a large settlement 
in the township, and his relation to the early settlement in connection with a 
number of others deserves brief mention in these pages. He was born in 
Connecticut, and after living a number of years in New York came to Ann 
Arbor (then a settlement of two houses) in T825. The next year he entered 
eighty acres of government land in the township of Salem, in Washtenaw 
county, where he is thought to have been the first resident. He cleared up 
his farm, built a saw-mill, and resided there until he came to Bushnell to 
settle upon land already located, as before stated. The party consisted of 
Joseph Stevens, a wife and four children, and his son-in-law, Edwin Stevens, 
who located on one hundred and sixty acres on the south half of section 34. 
Joseph Stevens immediately built a temporary shelter, and then commenced 
the log house which remained standing for many years. The same clay 
that this house was raised, William Devore raised his log cabin on the farm 
later occupied by J. Snyder. These were the first cabins raised west of 
Prairie creek. 

Lyman Stevens, who accompanied his father to this county, made his 
home on section 25. Mail}' of the incidents of those early days remained 
fresh in his mind, some of which he passed on to the present generation. 
At one time while driving towards Ionia through a narrow road, and where 
it was impossible to turn aside, he came suddenly upon a huge bear quietly 
lying in the road. Tt arose, looked around, and then started off ahead of 
him. but it soon sat down, fairly blocking the way. The two women who 
accompanied him were extremely terrified. He could not turn around, and 
to advance was perilous. He drove nearer and shouted at the top of his 
voice, but it only brought growls and a display of teeth from Bruin, who 
evidently proposed to stay. After a while, however, he moved leisurely on, 
and the young man succeeded in driving around him, the wheels of the 
wagon passing within two or three feet of the bear's body. 

When Mr. Devore, who has already been spoken of. left the township 
in 1849, he employed Lyman Stevens to assist in the journey, who when 


he returned brought his brother-in-law, Chauncey W. Olmstead, and family. 
.Mr. Olmstead had married Joseph Stevens' eldest daughter, Julia, in Wash- 
tenaw county. He at once became a resident of Bushnell, and settled on the 
cast half of the northeast quarter of section 34. Lyman Stevens subse- 
quently married Lunice Bacon, whose parents became settlers in 1849. 


J. S. Bacon was a native of New York state, whence he came to 
Michigan in May. 1834, and settled in Rollin, Lenawee county, being 
among the first settlers in that section. He came to Bushnell on May 5, 
1849, and bought the east half of section 21, and brought his family, which 
at this time numbered six, in August following. ITe left them all at the 
house of his father-in-law, Joseph Stevens, while he built a log house which 
lie covered with boards brought from the saw-mill on Dickinson creek, in 
bairplain township, which was then owned by a Mr. Burrington. He imme- 
diately began clearing with a team of horses which he had brought to the 
township, but soon disposed of them and procured a yoke of oxen. The 
next spring he sowed a small piece of ground in spring wheat — the first 
sowed in the township- -but it proved a failure. The year previous Joseph 
Stevens had sowed a field in winter wheat, which was the first in Bushnell, 
and which yielded a fair crop. Mr. Stevens also set out the first orchard 
in the township, he having been engaged in the nursery business in Washte- 
naw county. He brought trees with him and set them out in the spring of 
1848, at which time he also planted some spring crops. 

The settlement thus far. with the exception of William Mulnix, who 
came in soon after his brother-in-law, Henry A. Allen, with whom he 
stopped, had been in the central and southern parts of the township, west of 
Prairie creek. But the fine lands east of that stream were destined not long 
to retain their primeval solitude. James Clock and his son. Joseph L. Clock, 
came to the township, and after looking around selected the eastern half of 
section T3. The former took the southeast quarter, and the latter the north- 
east quarter. Joseph Clock's two sons married the daughters of Harley 
Bump, an early settler of Bloomer. 

In the spring of 1850 William Castel, another son-in-law of Joseph 
Stevens, came to Bushnell. He afterwards went to work in Olmstead's 
mill, in Evergreen township, where he remained until February, 185 1, when 
he entered the northeast quarter of section 27, and soon after built a log 
house. Mr. Castel was closely identified with the public interests of the 


county, having been elected a member of the board of supervisors many 
times, and to his exertions while serving in this capacity is the early organi- 
zation of the townships in the east part of the county mainly due. 


Shortly after locating in the township James Bacon called at the house 
of Mr. Castel and as he signified his intention to return home, Mr. Castel 
took his rifle, and the two walked along together until coming to a piece of 
timber around which were small clearings. Here they separated and passed 
around, intending to meet at the opposite end of the wood. Mr. Bacon, 
who was in a great hurry, wishing to get home with his cattle, which he had 
set out to find, walked on rapidly. As he passed under a wild cherry tree a 
peculiar sound attracted his attention, and looking up to the top he saw five 
bears eating wild cherries. He hallooed to Mr. Castel, but before he came 
Mr. Bacon had brought one down, shot through the head. Mr. Castel shot 
another, which was lodged in the forks of the tree. It was now found that 
they had not enough powder to load another piece, and while Mr. Bacon 
went to the house for ammunition, Mr. Castel remained to watch. Another 
bear soon after came down, and while the party by this time collected, 
assisted by a large dog, pursued it and killed it, the other two escaped from 
the tree. However, they secured three large bears out of the five. 

Many other instances are reported, which, with the reminiscences of 
the sufferings, hardships and dangers which everywhere surrounded the 
pioneers of Montcalm county, would fill a volume. Many who came here 
were poor, with no experience in frontier life and no supplies to sustain them 
until the first crops could be secured. To go to Tonia to trade, when so 
fortunate as to have the wherewith to procure the goods, through the terri- 
ble roads of those early days, was a hardship not now to be appreciated or 
understood; but with those who had not the means the struggle was long 
and severe. Many came with high hopes, but few- remained to realize them. 
Those who went away frequently lost the little they had invested. Others 
who remained became the most substantial and wealthy citizens of Bushnell 
in their day. 

David Hall, of Herkimer county, New York, came to the south part 
of Tonia county in 1841. He settled in the township of Ronald in 1846. 
In 185 1 he came to Bushnell and remained here until his death, in T873. 
They moved into the log cabin before the fireplace or floor was completed. 


It is said that in the fall of 1853 there was but one-half day in two weeks 
in which there was no raising. 

Among the early settlers of "Bushnell also were Rowland and Joel 
Soule, brothers, from New York. The former entered the west half of the 
southwest quarter of section 8, and the east half of the southeast quarter 
of section 2. Joel Soule entered the south half of the northeast quarter of 
section 7. They cleared a road nearly the entire distance from their farms 
to David Hairs, who was at that time their nearest neighbor. 

In the year 1863 Dr. R. R. Edwards and Artemus Gleason, with their 
families, came to Bushnell. The former settled on one hundred and sixty 
acres on sections 18 and 19. Tie was the first physician to locate in Bush- 
nell, and one of the first in Montcalm county. Mr. Gleason was a native 
of New York, and settled near Cleveland, Ohio, 1831. He came to Bush- 
nell, as before stated, in T853, an< ^ settled in the north part of section 18. 


Richard Low and his wife, to whom he was married in 1826, landed in 
New York from England, April 21, 1846, and then moved to Lodi, Washte- 
naw county. He had at this time a large family. At the time of setting 
out for the New World his youngest child was but four weeks old, and the 
hardships of the journey to the mother can well be imagined. On the way 
from Buffalo to Detroit the little one was completely drenched with water 
by the sailors who were scrubbing the deck above where its mother had for 
a few moments laid it. It took cold, and after reaching Detroit died. But 
they could not stop there, and as she wished to bury it somewhere near the 
home to which she had so long looked forward and for which she had left 
all, she carried it, closely wrapped in a cloak, for two days ; but as they did 
not then reach their destination, she was prevailed upon to relinquish it and 
it was then buried in a rude box by the side of the road. 

In 1853 his son, William Low, then a young man, was shown some 
lands near Grand Rapids and also some in Bushnell by Philander Howe. 
The young man was most pleased with the latter lands and his father sub- 
sequently purchased the northwest quarter of section 13 from Mr. Howe, 
for whom he worked a number of years. They came to their new house in 
1856, and later enjoyed the fruits of years of patient labor and waiting. 
Of this family four sons and one son-in-law served in the Union army in 
the Rebellion. David Low was instantly killed on the nth of May, 1864, in 
the battle of the Wilderness, and Joseph was severely wounded. Another 


son narrow!}' escaped by having his mother's picture, about which twelve 
large sheets of letter paper were wrapped, in his vest pocket. A large ball 
pierced through the entire mass and inflicted a slight wound. 

Among other settlers of Bushnell were William Bush, the Burnetts, and 
the Alchinis. in the west part of the township, Thomas Atherton, on section 
15, and R. S., J. V.. G. W. and E. Comstock, whose father settled on sec- 
tion 32. William Husker. the first town clerk of the township, settled on the 
west half of the southwest quarter of section 22. 


The first road, or rather the first opening- in the forests resembling a 
road, led from Palo northward to the saw-mill in Evergreen township, which 
was owned by Myron Ryder and known as Ryder's mill. Tt was completed 
gradually, many different persons contributing to the work. It led past the 
farms of Joseph Stevens and James Bacon, and was constructed the greater 
part of the distance through Bushnell township during the year T849. Soon 
after a road was underbrushed in the east part of the township, and part of 
the way on the line between Bushnell and Bloomer. 

The first frame building in Bushnell was a barn built by Erastus Brown 
for Joseph Stevens in 1849. It was completed in the month of August of 
that year. The first frame dwelling was built for Calvin Crippen. on the 
southwest quarter of section 25, in 1852. He opened a small stock of goods, 
but trade was not profitable and the store soon closed. The next frame 
buildings erected were by Joseph Stevens and James Bacon in 1855. 

The first wedding was that of Charles Bacon to Rebecca Stevens. The 
first birth was that of a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Chauncey W. Olmstead. 
and the death of George Hunt, who was killed by a tree falling upon him 
while at work on the county line road, was probably the first in the town- 
ship. He was buried in Eairplain. 

The first postoffice was opened at the house of William C. Griffin, about 
the year 1856, and was retained by him a number of years. About the year ' 
1855, Lora C. Jenks settled in the northeast part of the township and soon 
after David Husker built a saw-mill at this place, after which Edward 
Tineby built a store room and opened a small stock of goods. The village 
of Vickery Corners was platted by John Vickery. 

At the time of the settlement of the northwest part of the township 
several families of Indians, under John Wabasis, resided here. Thev were 
a remnant of the numerous bands of Chippewas who formerly inhabited 


this section. They were engaged principally in hunting and making maple 
sugar in the spring of the year, and also carried on a considerable traffic 
with their birchen- and bead-work with the inhabitants of the early settled 
districts. In the forest fire in 1857, which raged through Evergreen, one 
of their number was suffocated and perished in the intense smoke. 

In 1853 a man named Stevens in the township attached for debt a rifle 
belonging to one Osterhouse before Justice Covey of that township. John 
McKelvy. of North Plains township. Ionia county, appeared for the prose- 
cution and William Castel for the defense. When ready to proceed the 
bond given for costs was not to be found, and the counsel began at once to 
accuse each other of stealing it. This was a mistake, however, and the 
opinion now prevails that the defendant ate it, thus effectually putting an 
end to the suit for the time being. But Justice Covey said the law must take 
its course, bond or no bond, and rendered a decision in favor of the plain- 
tiff for seventy-five dollars, which was fifty-nine dollars more than the bill 
claimed. The rifle was sold at auction and bid in by the plaintiff. Oster- 
house. however, disposed of a cow, and with the proceeds, after the lapse of 
three months, replevined the gun. Again the learned counsel came face to 
f;ice. The course taken to sustain the suit was that the gun had now been 
in the possession of said Stevens three months, and that its use was worth 
twenty-five dollars per month as a means of procuring provisions for the 
plaintiff's family. The jury returned that the position was "well taken," 
and that the gun belonged to Osterhouse on those grounds. But the end 
was not yet. The famous suit was carried on by one person or another until 
sixteen decisions had been rendered, at a cost of between two and three 
hundred dollars to the parties. Of the sixteen decisions "one only was 
according to law." The conclusion finally reached was, "no cause of 

The first saw-mill in the township was built by G. L. Dean in the fall 
of 1865, anc l commenced sawing the following winter. 

In 1868 John Hitchcock opened a dry-goods store near this mill, which 
was purchased the following year by William M. Thomas, who later built 
a grist-mill in the south part of Evergreen township. 


Vickeryville is one of the real old towns in the county, but just when 
the first settlements began are shrouded in mists of forget fulness. The old 
part of this town lies in the south-central part of section 1, but when the 


Grand Trunk railroad came through this section it ran one-half mile to the 
south of Vickeryville. In consequence, a new town began to spring up at 
the location of the depot, which was in the central part of section 12. 

The business interests of Vickeryville have always consisted of several 
stores, a saw-mill, feed-mill, and smaller industries, such as blacksmith 
shops and repair shops. At present there are some four or five stores in the 
town, also a grain elevator, which is located opposite the depot. Vickery- 
ville also supports a postoffice, which is the only one in Bushnell township. 
Although Vickeryville lies half way between Sheridan and Carson City, in a 
small way it is a rather prosperous trading center. 

Cato township. 

Cato township, as originally laid out, comprised the territory included 
in towns n and 12 north, ranges 7 and 8 west. The petition for the erec- 
tion of the township, with its first boundaries, was presented to the board 
of supervisors signed by the following resident freeholders of that terri- 
tory: Samuel Youngman, David King, E. Smith, Seth Smith, Daniel Gal- 
lop, Frank S. Kniffen, James Taylor, C. King, Peter Johnson, J. Aldrich, 
S. Pearson and Lewis Buckley. The board of supervisors acted upon this 
petition on January 5, 1857, and the new township was officially created and 
christened Cato. The first election was ordered at the house of Samuel 
Youngman on the 6th of April, 1857. The three presiding officers at this 
meeting were Samuel Youngman, David King and Edward Smith. 

Upon the subsequent erection of Pine, Douglass and Belvidere town- 
ships, Cato township was reduced to its present limits. In the original 
petition therefore we find the names of men who did not reside within the 
present limits of Cato but were settlers in the other three townships. This 
township is situated upon the northern border of Montcalm county, or that 
portion of the county which was the northwest corner township as origi- 
nally formed. For its boundaries it has Mecosta county on the north, 
Belvidere township on the east, Pine township on the south and Winfield 
township on the west. 

The surface of this township is generally level, and forms the divide 
between the Flat and Muskegon river systems, the former draining, to a 
slight extent, the eastern part, and the latter receiving the waters of the 
western portion through a branch of the Tamarack creek, the outlet of 
Tamarack lake. These systems prove excellent artificial and natural drain- 
age for the farms in this section. Tamarack lake, which upon the north 
and west shore, was bordered by a growth of tamarack, hence the name — a 
variety which also covered several small islands that dotted its surface — is 
situated principally upon sections 9 and 10, extending also slightly into sec- 
tions 15 and 16. A belt of lowland extends through the north part of sec- 
tion 32 and runs in a northwesterly direction. It varies from a half to 


three-quarters of a mile, in width, and is mostly swampy and untillable. 
Although there was much swamp land in the section at an earlier date, this 
is gradually being reclaimed with the advent of tiling and the advanced 
methods of drainage. The northeastern part of the township was originally 
covered with a heavy growth of pine, but this has been cleared and the 
land makes excellent farms. The black sandy soil of the south, central and 
western parts is of exceeding fertility, and is cleared and highly developed 
by a thrifty and industrious class of people. 


Cato township, as previously mentioned and originally laid out, con- 
sists of four congressional townships. At the same meeting of the board of 
supervisors which laid out and organized the township of Cato, also organ- 
ized three other townships. There was a committee of four appointed in 
the naming of these townships. Each supervisor in this committee drew 
for the township which they should name. It fell to the lot of Westbrook 
P>. Divine to draw the township of Cato, and he named it for a township 
in his native state. New York, which, he said, was like a garden of Eden. 
Thus the township was christened. 


Section i — Allen Macomber. Section 3 — A. Woodruff, G. Macomber, 
A Macomber, 11. Garbutt. Section 4 — Harry Stow, Charles IF. Rose, 
Jerome Woodruff, Hannah E. Hartlow, John Haire. Ira Burnham. Sec- 
tion 5 — Allen Wright, David Chase. Section 6 — Allen Wright, David 
(iilleo, Samuel Sanborn. Samuel A. iXichols, David Chase. Section 7 — 
George Sanborn, George Main, George Sanborn. Section 8 — James H. 
Somers. John H. French, James A. Bryant, David Chase, Reuben Whitman, 
John TT. French, A. Macomber. Section 9 — Edwin French, Reuben Whit- 
man, Lewis E. Smith, Albert S. French, David Chase, Albert French. Sec- 
tion 10 — Elijah A. Colland, Warren Kimball, Sarah C. Diamond, A. Macom- 
ber, Chester H. Stebbins. Section 12 — Lorenzo J. Rider. Section 13 

Lorenzo J. Rider. Section 14 — Gary R. Hakes. Section 15 — Jonas Foster. 
Section 16 — William Williams, Asa N. and Hiram A. Hovey. Abram Shoe- 
maker, Albert S. French, James M. Orcutt, Richard Chaenley, A. S. French. 
Asa M. Havey. Hiram Hovey. Section \y — Justin R. French, Thomas 
Rae, William Martin, Stephen Rossman, Thomas Rossman, Thomas Darv, 


A. Macomber. Section 18 — James Stewart, George Main, James Edgar, 
Samuel Stewart. Section 19 — Charles P. Wilcox, Gardner Mooney, Sam- 
uel Kelly, George Macomber, S. C. and E. Hall. Section 2C^Thomas 
Wvnkoop, Freeman Rice, Hiram Hull, Eite Rossman, Daniel G. Hopkins, 
John Smith, John Finnicano. Section 21 — Ellsworth H. Stryker, Chester 
King. Conrad Friesh, Daniel Gallup, Freeman Rice, Daniel Gallup, John A. 
\ Vandal. Edmund Hall. Section 22— Ellsworth W. Stryker, Seth Smith, 
Thomas Wvnkoop, Edmund Smith, Cornelius Richards, William Rassett, 
James A. Owen. Section 23— Harriet M. Hakes, Ellsworth Stryker, Jack- 
son P»arr, Lord W. Ross. J. D. Brimmes, Edmund Hall. Section 24 — 
Lorenzo J. Rider, Josiah Bailey, Ethan Satterlee, Barr and Spencer. Sec- 
tion 25 — John J. Ely, Ethan Satterlee, Barr and Spencer, Edmund Hall. 
Section 26 — Lorenzo J. Rider, Harrison Thornburgh, E. R. Gallea, Sarah 
C. Diamond, Elias Kent, C. M. Moore, J. B. Ball, Edmund Hall. Section 
27 -John Turner, Lorenzo J. Rider. Simon J. Vedder, Patrick Nash, Luther 
Vanbuskirk, Harrison Thornhurg. Section 28 — James Taylor, John A. 
Ford, Henry H. Crapo, Isaac and Elisha Pearl, Philo M. Carpenter. Luther 
G. Vanbuskirk, Cornelius Richards. Section 29 — Samuel Youngman, Otis 
Irish. J. B. Barr, S. R. Sanford. Section 30 — Luther G. Vanbuskirk, Jason 
Kargo, William N. RRogers, Gardner Flint, Samuel Scudder, Charles H. 
Mushley, S. C. and E. Hall. Section 31 — J. B. Barr. Section 32 — John M. 
Klmendorf. P>enjamin Carter, Nelson Crop, Albert French, Leonard H. 
Randall, Edmund Hall. Section 33— David King, Dennis O'Neil, Henry 
( 'rapo, James M. Orcutt. Section 34 — David King, Daniel Tucker, Austin 
IT. Butler, Harrison Thornburgh, Emmerilla Butler, James S. Green, Eri S. 
Smith. J. H. Brimmer. Section 35 — Lorenzo J. Rider, Carso Crane, John 
J. Ely, Benjamin Joy, John W. Fiser, James Mathews, Lydia Mathews, 
Edmund Hall, Charles W. Butler. Section 36 — Jacob Davis, Lorenzo J. 
Rider, Samuel Peck, Carso Crane, Benjamin Joy, Chauncey Crowell, M. 
Rider. J. B. Barr, Edmund Hall, Peter Biesh. 


The first settler of Cato, as near as can now be determined, was 
Fdmund Smith, from Geauga county, Ohio, a native of Connecticut. After 
coming to Michigan he stopped for a time near Grand Rapids, but being 
anxious to get a piece of land he came to Cato in the spring of 1855 ar *d 
located on the east half of the southwest quarter of section 21. He did not 


bring a family at this time, but a mere shanty of logs and boughs for a tem- 
porary covering, and then began a small clearing, which, without a team, 
farming implements or the tools necessary for clearing land, rendered his 
task in this direction doubly difficult. A small piece at length, however, was 
prepared and platted to those vegetables which he deemed would be most 
acceptable the following winter. The yield was abundant. Kdmund Smith 
was a minister of the Disciple church, and officiated at the first funeral in the 
township, being that of a child which died in the west part sonic months 
after his settlement there. He returned to Cedar Springs, where he died in 


Tn the fall of 1855 his brother, Seth Smith, reached the township with 
his family, and settled on eighty acres adjoining on the east. He, too, 
determined to make a home in the wilderness, and under similar disad- 
vantages went to work to make an opening in the forest. Soon the supplies 
were nearly exhausted, and the wants of his family demanded that he 
should leave home and seek work. He succeeded in Greenville and at the 
close of the week converted his entire earnings into provisions, which he 
carried a distance of eighteen miles to his family. 

Some years later, while at work in Greenville, two ministers came to 
Cato and stopped with Avery Pool, where they remained some time. As 
there was no building in the township considered of sufficient dimensions 
and warmth in which to hold public meetings, they called at the unfinished 
house of Seth Smith. It had a roof on but one side, was not chinked 
between the logs, nor otherwise completed. But there were boards near by 
and shingles at a distance in the woods. With the permission of Mrs. Smith 
they at once began to finish the cabin. It was in the month of December, 
and to assist in the work Mrs. Smith hauled the shingles from the woods 
on a hand sled. The work was completed, and the surprise of Mr. Smith, 
who upon coming home on Saturday night found a cosy cabin with a 
shingled roof on both sides and the walls chinked and mudded, can be well 
imagined. The next day being Christmas, the first of a series of meetings 
was held there. Seventeen evenings the meetings continued, and in the 
spring of T859 the first church society in the township was organized. 

The next settler in Cato following the Smiths was David King, a 
young man from Ohio, who, with his wife — also young and with no ade- 
quate ideas of pioneer life — settled on the east half of the northeast quarter 
of section 33. He was well educated and had already made considerable 
progress in the study of medicine, and may, from the services which he 
rendered during his short stay here, be considered the pioneer 'physician of 

Carson City Public School 
Carbon City, Michigan 


Cato. His daughter, born in the early spring of 1855, was the first child 
horn in the township. He exchanged farms with E. R. Gallea and returned 
10 Ohio, where he creditably followed his profession. Mr. Gallea came to 
the township probably in 1857. an( l remained until 1876, when he moved to 


In December, 1855, Samuel P. Youngman, a native of Pennsylvania, 
came to Cato. He had previously been to the township and entered the 
northeast quarter of section 29, and had built a cabin, into which he moved 
Ins family. Mr. Youngman cut his road through the woods from the house 
of Mr. King — a distance of nearly one and a half miles. He set out the 
first orchard in the town in the spring of 1856. When he came to Cato 
first, in the spring of T855, in company with a man named Robins, he 
picked up a small quantity of potatoes which had been spilled from a wagon 
on its way from Greenville to Langston. Upon reaching Gato they found 
a small Indian clearing. They chopped through the heavy sod and planted 
the potatoes. In the fall Franklin French, a prominent land dealer of those 
days, who passed through here, found a fine crop of potatoes. Whether the 
Indians, of whom there were a number of families in the vicinity, cultivated 
them is not known. 

The heavy maple groves here and the small clearings that abounded 
had probably been used by them many years — the former in making maple 
sugar, and the latter probably filled from time immemorial. 

By the spring of 1857 these hardwood belts were all more or less occu- 
pied, and the settlement of the township may be considered as fairly bgeum 
Abel French had settled on the south shore of Tamarack lake, James Owen- 
near the center of the township on section 28, James Fdgar on section 18, 
Flam Sanborn on section 7. 

Mr. Summers, who settled on section 7, was one of the pioneers. He 
was killed by the limb of a tree falling upon him ; the limb had been chopped 
oft by the Indians. His remains were the first interred in the cemetery in 
Winfield township. He was buried first, however, on his own farm. His 
was the first death of an adult in Cato. 

George Sanborn entered the east half of section 7 in December, 1854, 
ai the time being a resident of Langston, where he and his brother, Elarrr 
Sanborn, were employed at the saw-mill. In the spring of 1855 Elam 
came to this land and built a cabin, which was the second in the township. 
He also planted some garden vegetables preparatory to the entry of his 


brother's family, which came in March, 1856. George Sanborn lived in Cato 
until 1865, when he removed to Orleans, Ionia county. 

Hiram Hull, another pioneer of Cato, and at the same time advanced 
in years and much afflicted with rheumatism, entered the northwest quarter 
of section 20. Notwithstanding his physical disabilities, which at times were 
very severe, with no team or any farming implements, and all the difficul- 
ties which surrounded him, he succeeded in making a home for his family 
and placing his farm in a fair state of cultivation. 


In 1855 James Taylor entered the east half of the northeast quarter of 
section 28. He resided here a number of years, then moved to Indiana, but 
subsequently returned to Greenville. Upon his land stood the first cabin 
used as a school house in district No. 2. He was the first settler at the 
corners known as Knot Maul. 

The next settler here was Ellsworth H. Stryker, who entered the south- 
west quarter of section 2T, also in the fall of 1856. Mr. Stryker was an 
early and earnest Abolitionist, and for years the favorite and successful 
candidate for the office of township clerk on the "Republican ticket. From 
an incident in which he was the leading spirit the corners near which he 
lived received its singular name. During the presidential canvass of i860, 
when the several political parties were extolling the virtues of their repre- 
sentatives, and the superiority of the Republican candidate as a rail-splitter 
was represented in every conceivable way, Ellsworth H. Stryker, with his 
brothers, Uriah and William, brought from the w r oods a most singular 
growth in the form of the body of a tree. The trunk, which at the base was 
scarcely more than a foot in diameter, about fifteen feet from the ground 
suddenly enlarged into a huge knot several feet in diameter, above which it 
again assumed its normal growth, and several feet above branched into 
limbs. The trunk was severed just above the knot, and the contrast ren- 
dered more striking by taking the bark from the handle of what was intended 
to represent a huge maul. When completed it was placed in the ground at 
the corners where the roads cross on section 28, and the peculiar sign was 
at once understood as it was intended- — -a declaration of principles. The 
people of the township, heretofore in need of a name for this place, which in 
the meantime had grown to be of some business importance, began to refer 
to it, some as the Knot, others as the Maul, and the union of these words 
probably being the only natural compromise, it was for years known as 


Knot Maul. The knot was subsequently chopped down by James Ward and 
others who represented opposite schools in politics. It was again raised 
and again hauled down. 

In 1863 Charles Wright purchased twelve acres of land of James Tay- 
lor and built the public house known as Knot Maul hotel. The accommo- 
dations were good, and the house was well patronized until other routes 
took the travel. Mr. Wright also kept a small stock of dry goods and gro- 
ceries. The first store, however, was opened by Louisa Frederickson. 

The first steam-mill in the township of Cato was built at this place 
by the Stryker Brothers. They also kept the hotel and a general store in 


Early timbering in Cato township is related by one of the pioneers of 
Lake view who had intimated an actual experience in the lumber camps of 
the early days. "The firm of Lee, Oak & Steel owned a very large tract of 
land in Cato township bordering on Tamarack lake. In the year 1867 and 
t868, nine thousand feet of logs were placed in Tamarack lake preparatory 
to floating them down to Tamarack creek and then south to the mills. The 
outlet to Tamarack lake is very small and did not carry enough water to 
float the logs clown. Consequently some artificial means had to be employed 
to carry the logs from Tamarack lake to the main part of the creek. It was 
about a mile distant. Towards this end a canal was dug, four feet deep 
and sixteen feet wide from the lake to the creek, and it was intended to) 
sluice the logs down this canal and thus place them on the market, but this 
project proved a failure. The ground was boggy, marshy, and the fall was 
insufficient to carry the logs down. Consequently, when the water was 
turned into this canal it merely filled it up and formed a swamp but didn't 
prove an agent for transiting the logs. Next a scheme was put in opera- 
lion to build a flume of planks to sluice the logs through to the creek. Planks 
were drawn from Kendleville and the work of building this was soon accom- 
plished; but failure again awaited the devisors of this scheme. First, the 
fall in this instance was so great that the water in passing through it went 
so rapidly that it did not form great enough depth to carry the logs. Also 
after a certain amount of water had passed through this flume the lower 
end of it began to float and was raised to such a position that the entire 
project was made useless. The logs in the lake were finally drawn out and 
hauled to Tamarack creek. But the entire project lost the lumber firm a 
great deal of monev." 



Generally speaking, there were three classes of men employed and. 
found in the lumber camps of the early days, namely: The rough class, tho 
common class, and the better class. All of the men who followed the 
lumber camps were rough, free hearted, at times quarrelsome; but on the 
whole a rather strong following of men. There could also be a classification 
of the men who came to the different camps for employment. These could 
be divided into the rough class, the farmer class, and the city class. These 
.different men could be distinguished as soon as they alighted in the camp 
by their respective actions. Those of the so-called rough class, which may 
be a misleading term and does not necessarily mean a criminal or vocifer- 
ous class of men, but those used to this life, rough and rugged; they were 
men who had made this their life work, knew the ins and outs of the camp 
life, lived it and would not exchange it for any other vocation or calling. 
When one of this class came into camp they were very quiet. They said 
nothing, sat down, put their satchel beside them, but in their experienced 
way, taking note of the camp followers and the work at hand. They then 
asked some of the employees for the "push" man. Being shown the fore- 
man, they immediately asked for a job. On an inquiry of the foreman as to 
what special line of work they could do, they always reverted with the 
answer that they could do anything he wanted them to do. Then they would 
ask for their bunk, remained close mouthed all the time, making no brags, 
but using their ears and eyes. They did not try to push themselves forward 
and hastily meet the different men of the camp, but bided their time which 
they knew would soon come. Soon they would fit into the life and be a 
smooth cog in the running of this machinery. 

The farmer class was that class of men who came from agricultural 
pursuits and only practiced this calling during the winter when nothing 
was to be gained on the farm. They came into camp, took everything in 
completely, not in one glance, but gave everything close scrutiny, talking 
loud, trying to be jocular, and making remarks about the camp. They 
would keep a running fire of conversation, talking of the country and every- 
thing on the farm. When questioned by the foreman as to what they could 
do, they, too, replied that they could do anything and did not care what it 
was, but in reality they could do very little. Some of these men proved 
good camp followers and stayed ; others would get homesick in a short time 
and return to the farm. If this class stayed with the work they soon fitted 


in and became part of the machinery of the camp and in a short time could 
not be distinguished from the older camp followers. 

The third and last class which is distinguishable is a city class. They 
came into cam]) and wanted to speak to everyone and get acquainted with all 
the employes in the cam)) in as short a time as possible. They were very 
free to talk, tell of their fun and experience in the. city and generally let 
their ego get the best of them. These men were blustery and if given a job 
verv seldom ever made good. This was the class which really did not 
deserve a place in the lumber camps of those days. They, as a rule, had no 
good reason for taking up this life. They did not like it and consequently 
did not profit by it, or the company did not profit by them. 


The village of Lakeview occupies the site of an Indian village on the 
shore of Tamarack lake, in the southwest quarter of section 9. The Indian 
village referred to, when first visited by white men, consisted of perhaps 
fifty lodges, and contained a population of several hundred. The wigwams 
were arranged in two rows, which formed a street, the outlines of which 
corresponded with those of the main street in the present village. It was 
the scene of the exciting games of the Indian youth as they strove for 
tribal popularity. Here also the children engaged in their milder sports, 
while the elderly members of the tribe smoked their pipes in stolid indif- 
ference. It was the scene of public festivities, and here they conducted 
their ancient and revered ceremonies. 

This peculiarity of the Indian disposition — their rigid adherence to 
ancient customs — is illustrated in the burial of one of their number, a hunter 
of considerable renown, in the winter of 1855-56. The weather being 
extremely cold, and several days elapsing before the corpse was removed, 
it became rigidly frozen. When the appointed time came the dead warrior 
was bound tightly with bark ropes to the back of a pony and a party num- 
bering at least one hundred proceeded to the Indian cemetery north of 

The trail led through the forest, underbrush and trees closely border- 
ing it all the way. The almost impossibility of fastening the frozen body to 
the pony rendered many stops and rearrangements necessary, but Indian 
custom demanded that it be interred precisely at noon and in order that this 
custom be observed, great haste was necessary. As they passed rapidly on 
their way the feet would strike a tree or bush and the head would swing 


forward; next the head would come in contact, while now and then, as the 
way became narrow and both extremities struck, a helping hand was neces- 
sary before the journey could be resumed. The warrior's journey to the 
tomb was doubtless not the smoothest through which he had passed during 
his earthly career. 

In 1858 Albert S. French cut the first tree and built the first dwelling 
house on the bank of Tamarack lake in what is now the village of Lake- 
view, and for some years he, with his family, lived in their new home with 
only wolves and deer for near neighbors and stately trees for churches and 
schools. But a field so rich in material for industry could not long remain 
unclaimed, and Allen Macomber, seeing the opportunities, erected a saw- 
mill and commenced to convert the dense forest into lumber. Meanwhile, 
Mr. French, having visions of the future, had plotted the land into blocks 
and lots; gradually a few more families took up the burden of pioneer life 
in the wilds of the future village. 

The first postmaster was Frank French ; the mail was brought, once 
each week, by Mr. Wise on horseback. 

'Philander Stevens built the first hotel, and as the nearest railroad was 
then at Ionia and all the freight bound for Big Rapids was transferred by 
teams by way of Greenville and Lakeview, it was no uncommon occurrence 
to see upwards of fifteen freight-encumbered vehicles drawn up to Mr. 
Stevens' place to find comfortable quarters for the night for tired teams 
and drivers. 

Greenville was the nearest place of replenishment, and it being twenty 
miles distance, imagine the joy of the early citizens, when, in January, 1868, 
Henry Seaman and L. L. Bissell erected a building on lot 4, block 1, which 
was to serve as a truly general store and postoffice. About this time a stage 
line was established between Greenville and what was then known as Big 
creek, so the mail and possibly a passenger came by stage as it passed the 
village once each week. 

By this time lumbering in this vicinity was carried on quite extensively, 
and the several camps furnished a brisk trade for the new store. Soon the 
sharp eye of the home-seeker espied the fertility of the lands in the country 
surrounding the little town, the little log houses sprang up, the sound of the 
woodsman's axe "that spared not the tree" and the "whoa Duke and haw- 
Dime" of the plowman was heard on every side, and hand in hand the primi- 
tive farm and the wee town advanced until at present the farming country 
is recognized as one of the most productive agricultural localities in Mont- 
calm county, it being adapted to the successful growth of nearly every crop 


that can be raised in Michigan, and this town has become a village, which 
though not large, has won many words of worthy praise from visitors who 
admire its broad streets, spacious sidewalks, neat, well-kept homes and places 
of business. 

In July, 1879, the first train came into Lakeview. The road was then 
known as the Chicago, Saginaw & Canada railroad. With the coming of 
this train the old stage coach passed, just as has the log house and the tallow 

Several times has the fierce monster, fire, threatened to destroy all that 
energy and application had accomplished, and in August, 1894, practically 
every business place was wiped out, only heaps of ruins and ashes remained; 
but nothing, daunted, the business men soon replaced the lost by structures 
much in advance of the old. Thus has the village withstood the many diffi- 
culties and drawbacks until at present it is a prosperous little place of about 
eleven hundred population, having two good hotels, one restaurant, one bak- 
ery, three meat markets, eight grocery stores, three dry-goods and clothing 
stores, two tailor shops, two millinery stores, two jewelers, two bazaars, two 
book stores, two drug stores, two doctors, two dentists, one veterinary, three 
furniture stores, three banks, one of the best printing offices in the county, 
one photograph gallery, two tonsorial parlors, three hardware stores, two 
agricultural implement establishments, four blacksmith shops, one automo- 
bile hospital, two tin shops, two shoe shops, one harness shop, two livery 
stables, one flour-mill, one saw-mill, one planing-mill, one sash and door 
factory, one table factory, one electric light plant, two grain ele'vators, a 
large potato and general produce market, one pickle salting station, one 
sugar beet weighing station, one stock yard, two telephone lines, six rural 
free delivery mail routes from the postoffice, five churches, and last, but not 
least, the school, which is one of the best in the county, eight teachers being 
employed. The school has been placed on the accredited lists of four of the 
foremost colleges in the state. 

There are also some nice places for pleasure and amusement about the 
village. The grove just to the south is an attractive place in summer, where 
picnics and camp meetings are often held, and the lake is no small factor in 
making the village pleasant and beautiful. In winter it furnishes sport for 
the skater and fisherman; in summer for the fisherman and boat lover, 
besides, the clear blue water is fair to look upon and the pretty islands, one 
consisting of five acres. 

All in all this village is one of which all her citizens may feel proud, 


and nothing goes farther to make it such than the harmony of fellowship 
which abounds. 

Lakeview is one of the many commercial centers whieh are located in 
different parts of the county. The industries consist of the Michigan ("hair 
and Table Company, which at present is managed by Leroy Stebbins. The 
Lakeview creamery is managed by .Mr. Bettys. ). ]. Bale has a lumber and 
electric plant. W. R. Roach has the vining station at Lakeview. Beans, 
peas and sweet corn are made ready for commercial use in this plant. .Mart 
& McGuire's salting station is located here. The Lakeview Elevator Com- 
pany, which is managed by W. T. Coverdale, is one of the largest in this 
section of the county. Lakeview Milling Company, which is managed by 
1. W. Finch, also has a great volume of business. W. M. Lent/, owns an ice 
house, which annually stores from live to six thousand tons of ice taken 
from the lake. Lakeview has an excellent potato market, with four to six 
buyers. Lakeview has two good banks, two good hotels, and business 
houses which rank in the foremost of any in the county. During the summer 
this village is visited by scores of people seeking pleasant summers. The 
different business and professional men of the village always have the better 
interests of the town at heart, and are ever striving towards its increase and 
up-building, in order to establish it among the foremost towns of the county. 
The present officials are : John J. Bale president : Benjamin F. Butler, 
clerk: Scott Swarthout, treasurer; John 11. Jensen, assessor. 


Bass Beach, which is located in the northeastern corner of Cato town- 
ship, on Town Line lake, was platted on August i, 1889, for George Whit- 
comb and wife and a Mr. Bateman. 

Tt evidently was the desire of the proprietors to make this a resort, but 
so far. their wishes have not materialized. 



At the regular session of the board of supervisors, held on March 4, 
1856, a petition was presented signed by the following persons: Edward 
Robinson. George Robinson, William Case, Chauncey Case, John L. Smith, 
John Vaughan, A. A. Proctor, J. F. Proctor, Enos Drake, George Fox, John 
White, Judge Stilson, Artemus Taylor, Henry Parker, Eli Davis, Ira Stuart, 
G. Watt, Barney McGlotay, Charles Howard, D. A. Cornell, John Linkey 
and James Beck. 

This petition was dated on January 15, 1856, and stated that the per- 
sons whose names appeared as given above were freeholders of the town- 
ship of Bloomer and that they desired to have town 10 north, range 5 west, 
detached from the township of Bloomer and organized into a separate town- 
ship. They further prayed that the name of this township be fixed by the 
board of supervisors as Crystal Pake. The petitioners also asked that the 
house of Eli Davis be appointed as the place for holding the first town 
meeting; and the judges be' Eli Davis, John E. Smith and Flenry Parker. 
The notice for this petition was printed in the Montcalm Reflector, which 
was a weekly newspaper published at Greenville and at that time edited by 
Milo Blair. Hie notice of this petition stated that the petitioners asked that 
the township be given the name of Crystal Pake, but on examining the ori- 
ginal petition it is found that they asked that the name of Crystal be applied. 

Crystal lies on the eastern side of the county and is bounded on the 
north by Ferris township, on the east by Gratiot county, on the south by 
Bloomer township and on the west by Evergreen. 

This township was originally covered by forests of beech and maple 
timber, and after these were cleared of their trees the fertility of the soil 
was discovered and that fertile belt which lies in the east part of Bushnell 
township, and comprises the greater part of Bloomer, extends also into 
Crystal, reaching to and bounded generally by Fish creek, although the tim- 
ber to the north and east of this creek was of a mixed variety. This tract, 
which lies in the basin of Fish creek, as was mentioned above, is the most 
productive and best-tilled part of the township, and comprises the more 


wealthy portion of its inhabitants. The township, on the whole, has a great 
number of good farms and the farming is done on an extensive scale and 
compares very favorably with any other township in the county. 

Fish creek, the largest stream, enters from Evregreen, flows in general 
in a southerly direction, and enters Bloomer from section 35. It receives a 
number of small tributaries, the most important of which is the outlet of 
Mud and Crystal lakes, which are properly a part of a small system extend- 
ing southeast to Evergreen township. There is a great contrast between 
these two lakes, as their names indicate. The waters of the one are turbid 
arid filled with floating particles from the muck and decaying mould beneath. 
Its shores, low and level, are lined for the greater part with sedge and rushes. 
It is indeed a mud lake. Its name, however, is not more appropriate than 
that of its fair sister, originally know ? n as Silver lake. But even in an early 
day, owing to one of those mysterious changes which can be accounted for 
only by the general consent of all parties, it received the name by which it is 
now known — namely. Crystal lake. Its waters are clear and beautiful, its 
shores, usually firm, in some places rise to elevations of considerable height, 
covered with oak and pine. A small island, accessible from the shore next 
to the village of Crystal, furnishes grounds often resorted to by picnic parties 
and excursionists. Crystal lake covers about eight hundred acres, and is 
about one and one-half miles in length. 


Following are names of those who purchased from the general govern- 
ment and state of Michigan lands situated in their township, showing also 
the sections upon which they located their purchases : 

Section 1 — AarOn W. Roby, John D. Trowbridge, Martin Baer, Rob- 
ert Brown, Joseph Rounds, Philip Krain, Samuel Burtch, John W. Oster- 
house. Section 2 — Harvey West fall, Valentine Williams, Samuel Spencer, 
Benjamin McCloskey, Hiram C. Buck, Henry Parker, Jacob Houseman. 
Section 3 — John White, Edward Hogan, James J. Belden, Darius Bogart, 
Charles Richardson, Jesse Stewart, Emma Ripley. Section 4 — A. L. Soule, 
George Fox, Elmore Burrows, Henry Burrows, Bartlett Clark, Francis 
Hawkens. Section 5 — Chauncey Stebbins, Thomas Cornell, James Culver, 
Levi Harrod, Daniel S. West, II. Davis, Andrew J. Tissue. Section 6 — 
Mary and George Edick, Patrick Fox, Levi Harrod, Samuel Kemp, George 
Gideon. Section 7 — James R. Langdon, Patrick M. Fox, Erastus Wilcox. 
Section 8 — James R. Langdon, Mathew II. Fox, John Fowler, Henry 


Kemp. Section 9 — Michael Lane, E. Drake, Eli Davis, Daniel A. Cornell, 
James J. Belden, Franklin S. Ferris. Section 10 — James R. Langdon, W. 
S. Coon, Daniel A. Cornell, James J. Belden, Franklin S. Ferris. Section 
ti — Eli Drushcll, John C. Blanchard. Section 12 — John F. Gilkey, Myron 
Kendall, William W. St. (Hair, W. Gingery, Joseph Rounds, John C. 
Blanchard, Bezaleel Lock, J. B. Taylor, William Erey. Section 13 — John 
F. Gilkey, Myron Kendall, Michael Fry, Oliver Cunningham, Floyd Palmer, 
Joshua Bogart, John C. Blanchard, Barber Dickinson. Section 14— Zim- 
merman Watts, Solomon Drushell, Peter Snyder, Francis H. Brown, Rich- 
ard Sinkey. Section 15 — James R. Langdon, Joel Parker, Adam Hosteter, 
Ira Stewart, Ezra Stewart. Section 16 — Augusta Bean, Alfred A. Proctor, 
Joseph F. Proctor, Benjamin F. Proctor, Augusta Proctor, Anson Sher- 
wood, Richard L. Robinson, Henry Morgan, Aaron Brown, Henry F. 
Brown, John F. Steffey, Samuel Burtch, H. H. Steffey. Section 17 — 
James R. Langdon, John N. Fowler, Peter B. Stiven, Jud Hall. Section 18 
— James R. Langdon, Daniel Harter, Stephen F. Page, May J. Hill, John 
X. Fowler, Asa Ward. Section 19 — James R. Langdon, Frederick Hall, 
John N. Fowler, Daniel Hill, Asa Ward, Hiram Bowen, Thomas S. Pew. 
Section 20 — James R. Langdon, Jonas Ashley, William R. Page. Section 
21 — James R. Langdon. Section 22 — James R. Langdon, Jesse Tenney, 
Solomon Drushell, John C. Blanchard, Frederick Hall, Warren Sherwood, 
Francis Brown, Peter Burke, B. F. Fuller. Section 23 — John M. Gordon, 
Sally M. Cornell, Simon D. Defuy, Martin Eckart, Joseph Kneer, John A. 
Stout, V. E. Casper, V. B. Luce, Emma A. Ripley. Section 24 — John M. 
Gordon, F. Smith, Zadock Heath, John McTlwain, David Tryon, J. B. Tay- 
lor, William Erey. Section 25 — S. L. Stone, Sylvester Bronson, F. Smith, 
David Alverson, G. W r ilmarth, John C. Blanchard. Section 26 — John M. 
Gordon, James L. Shinabarger, Jesse Tenny. Section 27 — James R. Lang- 
don, John M. Gordon, Harvey West fall, Isaac Morse, William Hatfield, 
Jacob Huffman. Section 28 — Don C. Hawley, David B. Webster, Sally 
Fish, Lucius B. Irish, Harvey Westfall. F. Hall, James Kennedy. Section 
29 — James R. Langdon, Harvey W'estfall, Fred Hall, Stephen Page, Jonas 
Ashley, William S. Goff, Harvey W. Rice. Section 30 — Harvey W. Rice, 
Alonzo Rice, William Goff, W. R. Page, Warren Brown, William Case, 
John Vaughn, John L. Smith, Chauncey Case, John N. Fowler, David Hill. 
Section 31— Abel C. Ross, T. R. Butler, Thomas Coulson, John Bancroft, 
Parmenio Long, Edward Murray, John N. Fowler, George Bogart, John 
Bancroft. Section 32 — James Forman, Edward and George Robinson, Jos- 
eph Green, Abel Ross, Jonas Ashley. Section 33 — James L. Glenn, Daniel 


Falk, Henry Gettman. Dennis VVolverton. Thomas II. Arnold, Jonas Ashley. 
Richard Sinkey, David Hoffman, Hannah Slanker. Section 34 — Clifford 
S. Phillips. M. W. Alvord, Jesse M. Beck, William Hatfield, Philander 
Wood, John Sinkey, Thomas S. Pew. Section 35— W. H. Smith. Sylvester 
Bronson, Langdon Bentley, James L. Shinabarger, D. Alvcrson. Section 
3f— Epaphroditus Ransom, William H. Smith, S. L. Sone, Sylvester Bron- 
son, James R. Langdon, Thomas Hubbard, Jr., John C. Blanchard. 


In the month of June, 1852, John Smith and his brother, Humphrey, 
came to Montcalm county in the employment of A. Rust & Company, who 
at the time were engaged in the lumber trade in Marine City, and for whom 
they were looking up pine lands. The brothers traveled through the eastern 
part of Montcalm county, and coming to the shore of Crystal lake, were 
delighted with the beautiful sheet of water, and camped and remained here 
from Saturday until the following Monday. 

This journey led John W. Smith to return and take up his permanent 
abode in the township the following year. His life previous to this time had 
been somewhat checkered. He was born in Onondaga county, New York, 
whence he came to Michigan in 1840. He stopped in the town of Superior, 
Lenawee county live years, and then moved to Grand Rapids. The first 
time he visited Jackson it consisted of but one house. Grand Rapids had one 
frame house completed and two in the course of construction on the east 
side of the river, and on the opposite side the Indians, who were afterwards 
removed under their missionary to Prairieville, in Barry county, had a little 
village, built for them by the government. Mr. Smith remained but two 
years in Grand Rapids, and then moved to Easton, Ionia county, where he 
subsequently married the widow of George Case, who had settled there in 
1834. Mr. Case had already begun to lay out a village on his land border- 
ing Grand river, when in endeavoring to ford the river to go to Grand 
Rapids, he was drowned. Mr. Smith remained in Easton until he came to 
Crystal, as before stated, in 1853. He built a log house on the west half of 
the northwest quarter of section 28. This was the first house in the town- 

About the same time George and Edwin Robinson, brothers, came in 

and built a cabin on the southwest quarter of section 32. It is asserted 

^ that these young men, not being accustomed to the howling of wolves and 

the other accompaniments of frontier life, made neither door nor window 


in their cabin, but covered the roof partly with shakes, leaving an opening 
in one end which served as both, and through which they passed by means 
of a ladder. 

During the spring of 1853 John W. Smith cleared up about an acre of 
land and planted it to potatoes and other small crops. All but the potatoes 
were a failure, these yielding one hundred bushels, which, considering the 
ground planted and their importance the following winter, was a valuable 
crop. On the 27th of Septeml>er his wife and her three sons came to the 
township. The sons were young men, and each located eighty acres of land, 
side bv side, on section 29. Mrs. Smith was the first resident white woman 
in the township of Crystal. 

Chauncey Case settled upon the east half of the northwest quarter, and 
on adjoining farms west his brothers, William and James, settled. This 
first land was entered in exchange for the farm settled by George Case, in 
Ionia county. 

Late in the fall of 1853 the family of John Bancroft and a man named 
Colton came to the township. They entered three forty-acre lots on section 
3 1 . Colton remained but a short time, and then returned with his family to 
Jackson county. John Bancroft remained until his death. Robert Ban- 
croft, who was born in January, 1855, was the first white male child born 
in the township. The same day a daughter was born to Mr. and Mrs. 
Judge Stillson. which was the first girl born in the township. 

Judge Stillson and James Beck had reached the township in the early 
spiing of 1854. Stillson settled on the east half of the southeast quarter 
of section 2^, but he subsequently returned with his family to Jackson 
county. James Beck entered the southeast quarter of section 34, by means 
of a land warrant received by his father for services in the Mexican War. 
He divided the land with his sister, who was the wife of William Swarthout, 
and who remained in the township but one year, and then returned to Jack- 
son county. Mr. Stillson and Mr. Beck together built a temporary shelter 
on the latter's farm into which the two families moved until Mr. Stillson's 
1 iousc, which was the second in the township, was completed. 

George Fox and his son-in-law, John White, arrived in 1855. The 
former entered the south half of the southeast quarter of section 4 and the 
north half of the southeast quarter of the same section. He died in the 
village of Crystal in 1879. John White took up corresponding parts of 
section 3. 

Hiram C. Stewart, a native of New York, but a resident of the southern 
part of Michigan for a number of years, came to Crystal in the fall of 1855 


and completed a log house commenced by Chauncey Case, into which he 
moved and lived until he could build one for himself. ITe was the first 
town clerk of Crystal, and held the office until his death, which occurred in 
1859. ITe purchased a farm on section 28 from a Mrs. Bunnell, of Lyons. 
Mr. Stewart had a wife and seven children, John Sinkey was one of the 
first settlers in the south part of the township. H. L. Parker, later a resi- 
dent of Roscommon county, was among the first to settle in the northeast 

John Burke, from Wayne county, Michigan, to which place his parents 
moved in 1826, and where he lived until his twenty-seventh year, came to 
Crystal in July, 1856, and bought the northeast quarter of section 34, of 
W. C. Oliver, of Ronald. He was accompanied by his parents, who lived 
with him until their death. The tract upon w r hich he settled was entirely 
new and without any improvements, and in order to reach the land he was 
obliged to make a road from the center of Bloomer, about three miles dis- 
tant, there being at this- time only a trail leading north from this place. 

Barber Dickinson was among the early settlers in the northeast part. 
He was born in New York, whence he came to Eaton county, Michigan, in 
1853, and afterwards lived successively in Bushnell and Bloomer, coming 
to Crystal in 1856. He entered forty acres of government land and con- 
tinued to reside in the township until his death which occurred in 1869. 


In 1854 the people of Crystal made preparations to celebrate the Fourth 
of July, and at the appointed time assembled with baskets filled more with 
substantial than with delicacies, and crossed over to the island in Crystal 
lake in an Indian's skiff. The fame of this lake had already been carried 
far by hunters and land seekers, and the people of Bloomer not infrequently 
visited it for pleasure. Upon this occasion two men equipped to fish entered 
a boat, and upon nearing the island were hailed and invited to share the 
hospitalities of the occasion. Upon landing, Asa Ward, of Bloomer, one 
of the men, introduced his companion as Elder William Evarts. The 
people thought it in keeping with the occasion to dedicate the beautiful 
island by an oration, and Elder Evarts was prevailed upon to mount a plat- 
form of sticks and bark and speak, which he did to the satisfaction of the 
entire company. Mr. Ward soon after became a resident of Crystal, and 
at the time of his death was treasurer of the township. 

. The oration of Elder Evarts on the Fourth of July led to the first 


religious meeting in the township, which was held at the house of John 
Smith in September following. Mrs. Smith invited Mr. Evarts to come 
and hold meetings there whenever convenient, but being at the time a resi- 
dent of Bloomer and engaged in farming, the distance, the almost impass- 
able condition of the roads at certain times, and other duties prevented him 
making any permanent arrangements at Crystal, although he conducted 
services there several times subsequently. The next year Peter Burke, a 
member of the United Brethren church, preached in the same place. 

The first frame building in the township was a small barn built by John 
\Y. Smith in the fall of 1854. IJis house was among the first frame struc- 
tures in the township. 

On Christmas eve of 1856 the first wedding in Crystal was celebrated, 
the contracting parties being Henry E. Parker and Sarah Jane Davis. Justice 
Smith performed the ceremony. Henry Parker had come to the township 
in 1853 and devoted much of his time to hunting. His skill with the rifle 
was proverbial, and by means of it supplied the little settlement with venison. 
Once, in company with another hunter on the shore of a small lake between 
( Yystal and Evergreen townships, he made an extraordinary shot and killed 
a loon far out in the water. From this incident the lake known as Loon 
lake took its name. Tie pre-empted land in the south part of the township, 
but sold subsequently and removed to Isahclle county. Eli Davis, father 
of the bride, settled on section 9 in 1854. 

The night of the wedding the ground was. covered deep with snow, 
and the roads being passable, several sled loads from Ionia came to the ball 
which lasted until the "wee sma" hours. The justice and his wife came on 
a sled made of planks and drawn by a yoke of oxen. Music for the occa- 
sion was furnished by A. A. Proctor and his brother, F. J. Proctor, who had 
previously settled on section 16. The large log house just built by Mr. 
Davis had not yet been partitioned, and furnished a good room for the ball, 
which was one long remembered. The Proctor boys opened the first black- 
smith shop in the township. 

The first death was that of ¥Ai Davis. He was buried near his house 
<>n section 16. but his remains have since been removed. The funeral ser- 
mon was preached by Peter Schlappie, of Ferris. At the town meeting of 
1857 it was decided to raise twenty-five dollars for the purpose of buying 
or leasing suitable grounds for burial purposes, these grounds not to exceed 
four acres in extent; and the town board was authorized to select and pay 
for the same. The committee selected four cemeteries, but only two were 


put in use, and at the town meeting held at the house of A. A. Proctor the 
work of clearing the one on section 18 was given to Asa Ward, and the 
other, on section 30, was left to William B. Gamhie. These were bought 
and put in order at a cost of fifteen dollars each. 

At the time of the settlement of Crystal, Hubbardston was the nearest 
postcffice. On July 4, 1857, Alanson Snow, after whom Snow's Corners, 
in Ronald township, Ionia county, was named, took the contract for carrying 
the mail from Ionia to a station in Isabella county then known as New 
Albany, and later called Salt River. He followed this route nearly four 
years, most of which time he carried the mail himself, but was occasionally 
relieved by his son, Richard Snow. The trip was made on foot, the impassa- 
bility of the roads rendering it impossible to use a horse. He left Ionia 
with the mail Tuesday afternoon and reached Snow's Corners the same 
night. He took dinner with John W. Smith on Wednesday, and finished 
the trip to New Albany and returned home by the next Saturday. 

The first postoffice in the township was kept by A. A. Proctor in his 
house When Air. Proctor removed it was kept by his brother. Fernando 


The village of Crystal is situated near the east shore of the lake. The 
first settlement in this vicinity was made by Enos P. Drake who in the year 
1857 built a small dwelling house and saw-mill, the latter on the outlet of 
Mud lake. Drake built the first mill. The first framed building was the 
Eagle hotel. The village was laid out by Asa Ward on land owned by Mr. 
Burtch and Mr. Drake. 

Beautifully situated in the northeastern part of Montcalm county in a 
very picturesque valley is a lake called by the people in that part of Michigan, 
Crystal lake. As the name implies, the lake is like a crystal, and as the sun 
shines on its pretty waters it acts more as a mirror. On the southeast 
shores of this body of water, which is considered small in comparison with 
some of the lakes of which Michigan boasts, although it covers about 1,000 
acres, is the village of Crystal, the seat of a thriving, hustling, agricultural 

Crystal has about 500 inhabitants, possesses practically everything a 
city of ten times its size has, but it is not incorporated and progresses 
famously with the administration of its affairs by some real live boosters 
of which a much larger community might well be proud. Farming and the 
summer resort is what makes the village, and those who call Crystal their 


home are ever alert to take advantage of any opportunity which presents 
itself to further civic interest. 

Since Crystal was founded on April I, 1868, there have been at least 
a dozen surveys into the village by various steam and electric roads, and 
each time just when the fond hopes seem about to be realized, negotiations 
are declared off. The townspeople do not sit down and wait, praying for 
another survey, but with renewed vigor direct their efforts to make the vil- 
lage a magnet that will eventually attract some promoters to come through 
there with the necessary railroad to the larger state cities. Just at the 
present time a survey is being made, possibly the thirteenth, maybe the fif- 
teenth, but the fact remains one is going through now and within a very 
short time it is believed that the road will be constructed. 

To the visitor it seems a wonder that someone has not as yet awakened 
to the possibilities of developing that rich agricultural district in and around 
Crystal. True there is a road at Butternut, five and a half miles away, but 
this makes it more difficult for the farmers and villagers to market their 
products and secure their shipments. The automobile is meeting the long 
felt want in some respects as the hotel in Crystal, and it boasts of three, 
which provide auto bus service to and from Butternut by all trains and to 
Yestaburg by appointment, so the village is not so isolated as one might sup- 
pose. Then, too, prosperity has smiled upon the townspeople and the 
farmers, so many have automobiles for pleasure and business. Travel is 
not difficult over the country roads; a liberal supply of gravel has made the 
highways excellent. 

To get to the story of the village proper, Crystal is not incorporated, 
the citizens enjoying the freedom of their own government, and meeting 
en masse when the occasion arises for whatever seems the betterment of 
affairs. For the guest Crystal has three hotels, the Park, on a bluff over- 
looking the lake; the Lakeside, only a stone's throw from the shore line, and 
the Shaffer House, on Lake street. The latter is open the year around, but 
the two former close with the resort season some time in September. 

Naturally in a place of this class, banking takes a prominent part, the 
State Bank of Crystal recently occupying its new home on Main street, 
serves the community well. It began as a private institution under the 
management of honest and capable officials, and has recently been incor- 
porated a state institution. 

The postmaster, J. M. Lascelle, under recent legislation enacted by 
Congress, holds his position on a life tenure. No political changes can retire 
Him. Rural free delivery routes supply the rural communities with mail. 


The necessity of walks a few years ago was the bone of contention among 
the villagers and at a mass meeting it was decided to construct cement walks, 
and now Crystal has two miles of cement walks, an excellent showing for a 
village of half a thousand people. 

There are many forms of business enterprises in Crystal, and each 
offers a complete stock in the particular branch it represents. There are 
three groceries, one drug store, one jewelry store, two hardware stores, a 
bazaar, garage, photo studio, confectionery, two blacksmith shops, wagon 
shop, flour and two feed mills, cheese factory, electric light plant, telephone 
company, a live weekly paper — the Crystal Mail, published by C. W. La Du, 
ex-state oil inspector. 

Educationally the people of Crystal have not overlooked the welfare of 
their children. There is a full twelfth grade school, a diploma from which 
admits to the smaller colleges of the state. Crystal has four churches, the 
Congregational, Baptist, Methodist and United Brethren. Fraternally, one 
can find as much of a diversity as in the religious field. There is a Masonic 
lodge, and a chapter of the Eastern Star, the Farmers' Grange, Gleaners, 
Odd Fellows and Rebekahs and Maccabees. 

A booster of the village is Otis A. San ford, and it was mainly through 
him that many of the improvements of the village were brought to a suc- 
cessful culmination. Mr. San ford is too modest to take any credit for the 
work, and when asked who it was who put through the many improve- 
ments, he says "the boosters of Crystal." But Mr. San ford has many 
friends in the village who are willing to give him the credit deserved. Mr. 
Sanford organized the Crystal Telephone Company, with a capital stock of 
$2. 500. Tt serves nearly two hundred subscribers. Work is now going on 
to increase this number, and the Crystal boosters who have secured the right 
to connect with the \ alley Home Telephone Company for slate service are 
not going to quit until they have secured the same privileges with the Michi- 
gan State Telephone Company. 

One great asset which the village has is the self-sustained lighting 
plant. Crystal has twenty-four-hour electric service. The plant is operated 
with steam power, is not surpassed in the state, and as far as can be ascer- 
tained, in the United States. Where water power is used the case is differ- 
ent, but at Crystal generators are operated with steam. At ten o'clock at 
night the power is furnished with storage batteries, and they are also used 
after the plant closes Saturday night and until it opens Monday morning. 

Leaving the main street of Crystal and turning on to Lake street it is 
but a short distance down the side of the hill before one has a glimpse of the 


lake. Tt is a pretty body of water, fed from springs which are distributed 
all around the lake bed. The lake has a sandy bottom, affording delightful 
bathing. One may wade a great distance before reaching a depth greater 
than six feet. The lake is comparatively shallow, but there is one place 
about three-fourths of a mile from the resort where they never have been 
able to locate bottom. This may be just a myth, but you will have to take 
it. for what it is worth. 

On the southeast and northeast shores of the lake are very fine summer 
cottages, nothing special but very cozy, providing the usual comforts of a 
summer resort. On the southeast shore many of the cottages are owned by 
people who occupy their own during the warm months. On the northeast 
shore is a group of cottages, possibly two hundred, known as Crystal 
Heights. Tt is an association and has been incorporated. The Park hotel is 
situated among the cottages at the end of Lake street near the lake shore. 
At the end of Lake street, near the lake shore, there are a number of pavil- 
ions. Some are operated by residents of Crystal, while others are leased to 
parties who have made their summer homes in Crystal for the past fifteen 
to twenty years. 


B. F. Smith, proprietor Lakeside hotel; O. A. Sanford, manager Main 
Street garage; W. V. Beard; proprietor Park hotel; Bert Silver, manager 
Silver Family theater; Edward Nolty, boat livery; R. H. Radcliff, ice cream 
pavilian; Peterman Brothers, proprietors bathing beach; B. F. Shaffer, 
proprietor Shaffer hotel; F. T. Kimball, general merchandise; C. De Young, 
hardware and supplies: Z. D. Rule, dry goods and groceries; J. D. Smith, 
pure drugs and chemicals; Sturgis & Son, meats and general merchandise; 
Ceorge Holcomb, manager Crystal Cheese Company; William S. George, 
manager Crystal Telephone Company; R. B. Smith, physician and sur- 
geon; Blackaller & Bennett, opera company; Orcutt & Son, general hard- 
ware; F. H. Marcy, furniture and funeral director; W. J. Reed, boats and 
cottages; Frank Morgan, barber shop; V. C. Canouts, jeweler; E. A. Dur- 
kee, Lakeside Park; Oscar Shives, well drilling and repairing; J. M. Lascelle, 
postmaster, insurance; Bank of Crystal, general banking business; Lee Ter- 
williger, blacksmithing and repairing; L. H. Gearhart, cement blocks and 
'ile; J_ C. Sigsbee, carriage painting and repairing; J. S. Parker, blacksmith- 
ing and repairing; C. W. LaDu, editor Crystal Mail; H. S. Preston, photog- 
rapher ; Charles Woodbury, cottages and boats ; Carl Benthine, ice and 
drayage; Thomas Young, proprietor opera house; Louis Steele, variety- 



Day township is located in the central part of the county and is desig- 
nated on the government survey as town n north, range 6 west. It is 
bounded on the north by Home township, on the east by Ferris, on the south 
by Evergreen and on the west by Douglass. 

The erection of this township, which comprises congressional township 
ii north, range 6 west, was brought about through the presentation of a 
petition signed by the following: Alonzo Darling, IT. E. W. Palmer, Sam- 
uel Butts, Fared Strong, Jr., R. Rawson, D. S. West, Sebastian Martin, 
Win Armstrong, Conrad Rough. J. J. Mounton, Alexander Oneal, Henry 
Kretzinger, Egbert L. Heath, Christopher Hare, David Buck, John S. Ford. 
Albert Ferris, Wibber E. Roby, John M. Hancock, Isaac Tillne, E. B. Hare, 
Andrew Zuner, J. G. Garrison and David Shaffer. This petition was passed 
upon by the board of supervisors, and the township was duly created on 
October 12, 1864. The first election was held at the house of Henry Kret- 
zinger on the first Monday in April, 1865. ami H. E. W. Palmer, John A. 
Dyer and Jared Strong acted as election judges. 

The name for this township was selected by a mere accident. While a 
number of its citizens were debating on the question of a name and unable to 
select one from the many proposed, some one suggested that action in regard 
to it be postponed until another day. It was then proposed that all the other 
names be dropped and the name "Day'' inserted in the petition, which was 
accordingly done. The first meeting was held in compliance with the appoint- 
ment made by the board of supervisors. The meeting was called to order 
by H. E. W. Palmer, one of the inspectors appointed by the board. The 
other two inspectors chosen by the board were absent, and George F. Case 
and John D. Herrington were appointed by the electors present to fill their 
vacancy. George F. Case was chosen chairman, and H. E. W. Palmer was 
chosen clerk. The following persons were elected to offices in the township : 
.Supervisor, Sylvester Derby; clerk, Edwin K. Wood; H. E. W. Palmer, 
treasurer ; G. F. Case and H. E. W. Palmer, school inspectors ; John D. Her- 
rington, John K. Marston and Henry Kretzinger, commissioners of high- 


ways; George F. Case, John D. Herrington, Samuel Butts and Albert Reg- 
ister, justices of the peace; Aaron F. Lee, Phipps Waldo, H. E. W. Palmer 
and John J. Owen, constables. 


Section i— Byron G. Stout, William Green, Freeman Rice, Byron Stout. 
Section 2 — Samuel S. Woodworth, James Cisco, Gamaliel Waldo, Phipps 
Waldo, William S. Post. Section 3 — Elias Hardy, James Eakright, John 
Rash, Aaron Grash. Section 4 — John J. Mountain, Henry Kretzinger. 
Section 6 — Julia A. Clark, Sebastian Martin, Alpheus Brown, Jared Strong, 
Jr., Luther Hardy, Stephen F. Page, Edmund Hall. Section 7— William 
and Cornelius Van Name, Jacob Lemasters, William P. Baker, James Knox, 
Conrad Roosh, John J. Owen, Erastus P. Brown, Alonzo Darling. Section 
8 — Jacob Lemasters. James Knox, Alonzo Darling, Frederick Hayland. 
David PI. Thomas. Norman Webber, A. Darling. Section 9 — David Jacobs, 
Frederick Hayland, Daniel S. Simes, Peter H. Watson. Section 10 — L. B. 
Townsend, Peter II. Watson, Sylvester Parsons, William H. Stanfield. 
Section u — John G. Williams, Thomas P. Bennett, Peter H. Watson, Gama- 
liel Waldo, Oliver' Rutherford. Benjamin P. Boskin. Section 12 — John A. 
Dyer, John G. Williams, Albert E. Regista, Moses A. Dyer, Solomon Rash, 
Russel E. Dyer, Henry O. Corroll. Section 13 — Alexander Eraser, Clark- 
sen S. Hance, John \\ r . Tate, Cyrus Rutherford. Section 14 — Moses C. 
Grey, Peter H. Watsen, George Sapp, Peter Seyo, William Knott, Cyrus 
Rutherford, Amos S. Pennington, E. K. Wood. Section T5 — William Beaty, 
William Waldo, Alexander FYaser, George O. Taylor, Henry G. Johnson. 
Section t6 — Marcellus Palmer, .Andrew B. Nevins, Norman Webber, Oscar 
R. Wilmarth, Marcellus Palmer, H. H. Belding. Section 17 — William Cor- 
nell, Henry M. Tupper, Mary S. Palmer, P. R. Howe, George Isham, Syl- 
vanus Taylor, Hampton Rich, A. S. Johnson. Section 18 — Charles B. Wil- 
sen. Section 19 — Charles B. Wilsen, William and Cornelius Van Name, 
Stephen McNeil, William J. Cornell, Benedict Brooks, Steven Shephard, 
Josiah J. Morris, John D. Harrington, William Armstrong, Edwin B. Moore. 
Section 20— William J. Cornell, Hugh T. Brooks, James M. Soverhill, Cor- 
nelius Van Allen, P. R. Howe, George B. Isham, N. Webber, D. Chase, 
Hampton Rich. Section 21 — William J. Cornell, William Beaty, Larmon 
B. Townsend, Cornelius Van Allen. Section 22 — William Beaty, Thomas 
J. Bargar, William Beaty, Alexander Fraser. Section 23 — Thomas J. Bar- 
gar, Larmon B. Townsend, Daniel Buckley, David Stewart. Section 24 — 


Wilsen Lee. William I\ Partello, John Barrett, Edwin A. Moffatt, Josephus 
Dasef. Section 25 — Charles B. Wilsen. Henry II . Crapo. Section 2(3 — 
L. M. Bennett. Albert Cisco, Smith Felton. Section 27 — Larmon B. Town- 
send. Section 28 — Larmon B. Townsend, Samuel Mead, Edwin D. Finch, 
Samuel Lett. Section 29 — Hugh T. Brooks, Benedict Brooks, Larmon B. 
Townsend, Charles A. Brown. Section 30 — William J. Cornell, Benedict 
Brooks, Michael Mead, William Dunham, Larmon B. Townsend, Isaiah J. 
Morris. Section 31 — E\ rand H. King, Michael Mead. William L. Tanner, 
Michael Mead. Section 32 — John Waite, Frederick Hall. Section 33— 
Ambrose L. Soule, Larmon B. Townsend. Alexander Eraser, Stephen F. 
Shortep. Samuel Mead. Section 34 — Ambrose L. Soule, Henry H. Crapo. 
Jacob Wagner. Alexander Eraser, FMwin A. Moffat, Rudolph Wagner. Sec- 
tion 35- Henry Crapo. John W. Osborn, Alexander Eraser, Stephen F. 
Johnson. Section 36 — Loren M. Barrett. Henry Sisco. 


The first settler of the township was John A. Dyer, later a resident of 
Kern's, who came in in J 854 and settled on the southeast quarter of section 
12. He built a good log house, set out an orchard, planted the first crops, 
and made the first improvements of note long before any other settler came 
in. His wife, who died subsequently, is regarded to be the first death in 
Day township. 

About the year 1862 several families came to the township and entered 
small tracts on section 8. They all built small cabins, but soon after, selling 
their claims, removed. The next settler and the first permanent one in that 
vicinity, was Alonzo Darling, who, under the state homestead law, entered 
one hundred and twenty acres, principally on section 8. He made some 
permanent improvements, conspicuous among which was building a large 
barn and clearing forty acres. 

Sebastian Martin was the first settler in the west part of the town, hav- 
ing entered land and built a cabin on section 6 as early as 1862. With his 
wife he lived here for a time, making shingles by hand; but at length he, 
too, sold for one thousand dollars and moved. His wife was subsequently 
drowned in Grand river. 

\n May, 1864, accompanied by his cousin, Marcellus Palmer, came in, 
and with him purchased two hundred acres of Jacob Lemasters for three 
dollars and fifty cents per acre. H. E. W. Palmer was formerly a. regular 
minister of the Baptist church, but his health failing, he sought the pine 


lands of Michigan in hopes of restoring it. After purchasing, Marcellus 
returned to Tonia and in about eight months brought his family to Day. In 
1865 Conrad Kouash settled on section 7, where he remained a number of 
vears, when he moved to Douglass. 

Some time after the settlement of the Palmers. Norman Webster came 
in and bought the northeast quarter of section 8, for which he paid a team of 
horses, a wagon, and some minor consideration. He also sold out and moved 
to Kent county, thence to Texas. John Harrington came from Hillsdale 
county, Michigan, in 1864, and settled on section 19. 

In the spring of t866 the school board formed the northwest quarter of 
the township into a school district. The first school meeting- was held at the 
house of H. P. W. Palmer, he being chosen director, and Samuel Butts, 
moderator. Marcellus Palmer, assessor. The first school was taught by 
Mrs. If. F. W. Palmer in an unoccupied room in her dwelling. Arrange- 
ments were made to build a log school house, but the motion was recon- 
sidered by a vote of the district, and it was decided to erect a frame one, 
which was accordingly done. The second term, however, was taught by 
l.odema Palmer in the log house of Samuel Butts, before the school house 
was completed. She became the wife of F. M. Mallet. The second school 
was taught in the northeastern part of the township; but, as the inhabitants 
mostly soon after removed, the district formation was dropped. 

The first public religions meeting in Day. so far as is known, was con- 
ducted by Rev. IT. P. W. Palmer in his house in 1864. The first Sabbath 
school was organized by Marcellus Palmer at his house, and of which he 
was elected first superintendent. 

These settlements above referred to were all in the west and southwest 
portions of the township- One of the earliest settlers in the east part of the 
township was Smith Felton, who located the north half of the northeast 
quarter of section 26 soon after the Civil War, from whence he came as a 
soldier. He made a small clearing and built a log house on the high south 
bank of Hooker branch of Fish creek, where he lived until his death, in the 
early nineties. Another old settler of that locality was Josephus Dasef. who 
settled on section 25 soon aftetf Felton came in. He built a frame house on 
his homestead, about the first in the township, and early engaged in the lum- 
bering business. He cut the pine timber from his homestead and from 
other lands which he purchased, drew them to the banks of Fish creek, but 
a short distance away, and in the spring of the years he was in business 
llonted them down to Grand Haven, where they were manufactured into 
lumber. He closed out his business in 1872 and moved to Stanton, where 


he remained until 1876, when he purchased a farm in Bushnell township, 
which he developed and lived thereon until old age and ill health compelled 
him to sell, when he moved to Stanton in 1907, where he and his wife lived 
until their deaths, in July, t 9 1 5 . They died within two weeks of each other. 


The village is named after Alexander McBride, a native of Wayne 
county, New York, who came to Day township and in 1874 purchased the 
saw-mill built by Emery Mallet the year previous. The following year it 
burned, being a total loss, but it was at once rebuilt by him, and from that 
time the locality was known as McBride's Mill. When the railroad com- 
pany established its station near by it adopted the name which has accord- 
ingly been applied to the village. It is situated principally upon the south- 
west quarter of section 9. It was platted by 1). L. Jacobs in 1877. About 
the same time Phipps Waldo laid out the east half of the northeast quarter 
of section 8 in village lots, which he named Custer. Several lots were sold 
and a number of buildings erected; the first completed was the blacksmith 
and wagon shop of Dean Wilber, being the first business place in the village 
of Custer, which is now properly considered a part of McBride. 

Phipps Waldo came to Day township in 1864, and entered the south- 
east quarter of section 2, where he resided until February, 1872. C. A. 
Chillson opened the first store in the village. The sales for the first six 
months amounted to eight or ten thousand dollars. 

Soon after J. A. Waldeon opened a stock of ready-made clothing, being 
the second in the village. The sales amounted on an average to ten thou- 
sand dollars per year. The growth and prosperity of McBride continued 
unchecked with one exception. 

On Saturday, May 16, 1885, fire broke out in McBride about five o'clock 
in the evening, and before it had spent its force had destroyed property 
valued at $57,400 and made twenty-four families homeless. The fire was 
started from a stove pipe which passed through the ceiling of Andrew Mar- 
tin's house and on account of a strong wind was soon beyond all control. 
Altogether fifty-seven buildings were burned. The total insurance carried 
on the destroyed and damaged property amounted to only $13,250. 

Notwithstanding this and other lesser fires which were very disastrous, 
McBride has grown and is continuing to grow as fast as any other town of 
its size in the county. McBride is one of the large shipping points on the 
Pere Marquette road in this county, and has proven an excellent market for 
all kinds of farm produce. This makes it one of the lively towns in this 


section of the county. It is the only town in Day township and is not 
rivalled in this respect. It has at present a population of about six or seven 
hundred. Benjamin Caldwell operates the only elevator and does an exten- 
sive business in all feeds and grains. Neffs Bank is one of the strong 
financial institutions of the county, while the McBride Review takes care 
of the publicity for the town. The other business firms of the town consist 
of the two general stores of Arthur Steere and William Alberts. There are 
two hardware firms. D. W. Dean and Oscar Swift, and the Godfrey imple- 
ment store. George Pierce is the proprietor of the only drug store, while 
Michael Fredericks has a candy store. The Woodruff hotel caters to the 
commercial trade. 


The village of Westville was laid out by Daniel West, who owned one 
hundred and twenty acres, which included part of the west half of section 7, 
of Day. Upon this, in anticipation of the Detroit, Lansing & Northern rail- 
road, he platted a village, which naturally thereafter took his name. lie 
gave ten acres of land for depot purposes and five hundred dollars in cash 
to the company as an inducement for them to extend their line to this place. 
The citizens also raised nine hundred dollars for the same purpose, which, 
as it appears, was paid to the company in full ; but the road passed to the 
east some distance, and the village has not therefore reached the import- 
ance hoped by its founders. The first business place opened was a general 
store owned by Jordan & Allen. 

Westville was platted on April 30, 1886. and with the growth of 
McBride, Westville gradually began to decline until nothing now remains 
but a cluster of residences. During the early days, however, this was a very 
prosperous town. Mr. Luce kept a hotel here, and it was a great stopping 
place for travelers through this section, but after the building of the rail- 
road, which ran to the east of Westville two miles, McBride became the 
commercial center. At present Westville is only a little hamlet with no 
business interests of any kind. 


Custer was platted on April 2, 1878, for Phipps Waldo and Leah 
Waldo, proprietors, by Ade F. Gardner, surveyor. To many of the readers 
of this book this would prove a puzzle if no explanation was given. It is a 
plat of that part of McBride which lies on the east side of Division street, 
but why a separate name was given is not for the writer to say, as in reality 
it was platted just six weeks before the village of McBride. 



Douglass township is situated in the north central part of the county 
and is hounded on the north by Belvidere, on the east by Day, on the south 
by Sidney and on the west by Pine. Until the organization of Douglass it 
was attached to the township of Pine. 

The petition for the erection of Douglass township was presented to the 
board of supervisors with the following signatures : Daniel Lang, Joseph 
Wilcox, Alfred Wakeman, Christian Darner, Ira Hale, Emerson Hale, 
Emory Hale, Richard Charnley, Sylvester Rockafellow, Charles Service, 
David R. Hart, John J. Riley, Alphonso Brundage, Arnold Clark, A. S. 
('lark, S. S. Whitmer, J. S. Whitmer, Benjamin Perseus, Enos Root, Aaron 
Hunt. Benajah Perseus, Stephen Aldrich, J. V. Whitmer and George R. 
Hart. This petition bore the date of February 17. 1864, and consisted of 
the territory embraced by town 1 1 north, range 7 west. 

The board of supervisors granted the prayer of the petitioners on Feb- 
ruary 17, 1S64, and created the township as desired. The first election in 
the township was held at the house of Aaron Hunt on the first Monday of 
April, 1864, at nine o'clock, and at this first meeting Alphonso Brundage, 
S. S. Whitmer and Banajah Persens presided. The naming of this town- 
ship seems to have caused the greatest difficulty. Tn the orginal petition as 
first written the name of Washington was selected for the new township, 
but before this was presented to the board of supervisors this was scratched 
out and the name Lincoln written above it. Lincoln was also placed on the 
map which accompanied the petition and was also written in the minutes 
of this meeting of the supervisors. But in all three cases it was scratched 
out and the name Douglass inserted. The latter name was selected in honor 
of Stephen A. Douglas, the presidential candidate on the Democratic ticket 
in i860 and for whom a majority of the electors of the township voted. At 
the first election Alphonso Brundage, Benajah Persens and S. L. Smith 
were chosen justices of the peace; S. L. Smith, supervisor: S. S. Whitmore, 
Aaron Hunt and Benajah Persens, highway commissioners ; S. S. Whitmore 
and S. L. Smith, school inspectors; S. S. Whitmore and Adam Shaffer, 



Section i — Luther L. Ward, Erastus P. Brown, Jonathan H. Loomis. 
John Brown, D. S. West, Edmund I Tall. Section 2 — Allen Wright, Liberty 
B. Britton, Darius P. Blood, Amos S. Johnson, Wood and Gilbert. Section 
3 — Aloney Rust, Hiram Ropman, Seth TTolcomb, O. Wright. Section 4 — 
Money Rust, Abel French, John Cook, Peter Johnson, Josiah Kupell, Eliza 
liurd. Section 5 — Aloney Rust, Peter Johnson, Jacob A. Dairs, Carso 
Crane, Lyman H. Pratt, Frederick 11. Noteware, Benajah Persens, Lorenzo 
Buckley. Section 6— Oscar F. Cargill, Jacob A. Davis, Carso Crane, John 
J. Edly, Henry C. Byram. Section 7 — Fite Rossman, Oscar F. Cargill, 
Hiram Rossman, S. F. Page, John Frisler, Jacob A. Davis, John J. Ely, 
Miller Wood. Section 8 — Aloney Rust, Hiram Rossman, George Rossman. 
Stephen Page. John Tripler, Jacob Davis, Henry C. Bryam, Cyrees Wood- 
man. Section 9 — Aloney Rust, Stephen Page, Jacob A. Davis, Stephen Aid- 
rich. John A. Brady. Section 10 — Martin Shearer, Oliver P. Knox, Eras- 
tus P. Brown, Benjamin Persens. Thomas S. Aldrich, William A. McCloud, 
George Carpenter. Section 11 — Erastus Brown, Henry W. Wilson, John 
Trisler. Carso Crane, Oliver P. Knox, Isaac M. Harris, Alphonso Brundage. 
Section 12 — William Baker, Charles B. Wilson, William and Cornelius Van 
Name and Stephen McNeil, Andrew J. Clark, Enor L. Root. Section 13 — 
Charles Wilson, Henry WiLon, William Van Name, W r . and C. Van Name 
and S. McNeil. Section 14 — Henry Wilson, John Trisler, Carso Crane. 
David R. Chandler, John S. Whitmer, Stephen S. Whitmer. Section 15 — 
John Trisler, Godfrey Aumaugher, Carso Crane, Aaron Hunt, Stephen S. 
Whitmer. Aaron Hunt, Josiah Bennett, Jacob B. Barr. Section 16 — Eli 
Hunt. Joseph J. Carpenter, Adam Shaeffer, George W. Entrican, Albert L. 
Entrican. Jacob Miller, Eli Hunt, Joseph C. Vaughn, Timothy J. Scidmore, 
George Bellamy, Joseph Wilcox. N. H. Briggs. W. Simmons. Section 17 — 
Alonev Rust, George Rossman, Hiram Rossman, Edward B. Edwards, -Ste- 
phen F. Page. Timothy Scidmore. Section t8 — Stephen Page, George Ross- 
man. Section 19 — Silas Barton, Aloney Rust, George Loucks, Benjamin 
B. Knight. Edward B. Edwards. Larmon Chatfield, Stephen F. Page. Sec- 
tion 20— Daniel L. Newton. Silas Barton, George Loucks, Benjamin Knight, 
Larmon Chatfield, Edward B. Edwards, Myndert Boose. Section 21 — 
Alonev Rust, Edward B. Edwards, Myndert Bover, Edwin Merrifield, Jacob 
B. Barr. Section 22 — Edwin R. Merrifield, John Shamp, Jacob' B. Barr. 
Section 23 — Charles B. Wilson. David R. Chandler, W. and C. Van Name 
and S. McNeil. Section 24 — Charles Wilson, William and Cornelius Van 
Name and S. McNeil, William J. Cornell. William Armstrong. Section 25 
—William J. Cornell. Section 26 — William J. Cornell, David R. Chandler. 


Section 27 — Edmund Hall. Section 28 — Loren Curtis, Jacob B. Barr, S. 
Gates, Edmund Hall. Section 29 — Charles Leonard, Thomas J. Bruner, 
Ambrose Atwood, C. Hewitt, J. B. Barr. Section 30 — John Lewis, Edward 
B. Edwards, Carso Crane, Charles Leonard, Thomas J. Bruner. Section 31 
— Stephen Page, Carso Crane. Section 32 — James Clifford, Rheubar Whit- 
man. Section t,^ — Edwin B. Moore, John Brown, Edmund Hall. Section 
34 — Hiram Amsbury, Adolphus L. Skinner, "Russell Ackley, Adolphus L. 
Skinner. Section 35 — Benjamin Towle, Joseph Smith. 

Clifford lake, a beautiful body of water over a mile in length, is sit- 
uated on sections 30 and 32. Upon its banks are several residences, and the 
groves are being utilized as picnic grounds and places of summer resort. 


The first settler in Douglass was Hiram Weller, but the exact date of 
his arrival is not definitely known. It was probably the fall of 1853, as in 
the following year he sold his claim and removed to Langston, where the 
John Green Company was erecting a saw-mill. He remained there several 
years working for the company, when he moved away. Peter Johnson, who 
purchased the claim of Hiram Weller, was the second settler in the town- 
ship. Soon after taking possession he built a more commodious cabin, 
cleared a small piece of land, and sowed the first spring crops. About the 
time of his arrival Uriah Stout and Messrs. Covey, Murray, Bradford and 
a number of other settlers pre-empted land in the vicinity, but none of these 
remained long enough to make any permanent improvements, and none 
brought families except Uriah Stout. 

William Goodwater, who settled just over the line, on section 32, in 
Belvidere, came in about the same time. He soon after came into Douglass 
and built a cabin near Little Penny lake, which was named after a nick- 
name applied to him. He also subsequently moved to the mills below on 
Plat river, where he died. 

James Earns worth pre-empted eighty acres on the east half of section 9, 
but within a year he sold to Stephen Aldrich, who, in the summer of 1854. 
came into the township to look for government land. His wife, formerly 
Rebecca Stewart, whose parents settled in the township of Gilead, Branch 
county, and became permanent settlers there with the family, came to the 
township of Douglass in the fall of T854. Mr. Aldrich went to work imme- 
diately to clear and improve his farm. The following spring he set out the 
first fruit trees in Douglass. In 1862 he enlisted in the Seventh Cavalrv, 


continuing in the army and participating in the campaigns of that regiment 
during the war. 

In the year 1854 Benajah Persens and his family came in and settled 
in the northern part. He purchased forty acres of land and lived here until 
his death. 

David R. Hart, Alphonso Brundage and Stephen Whitmer came in soon 
after the settlement of Mr. Persens. Alphonso Brundage had been a resi- 
dent of Ann Arbor, whence he came to Douglass and bought the north 
half of the northeast quarter of section 11, where he built a cabin. David 
R. Hart sold a part of his land to S. L. Smith, who, with Aaron Hunt, came 
to Michigan first in 1847, and lived a number of years at Jackson. He sub- 
sequently returned to Pennsylvania, where he lived until he came to Doug- 
lass, as stated above. At the first township meeting he was elected super- 
visor, and when justice, officiated at the first wedding after the organization 
of the township, being that of Jacob Miller and Mary Hunt. 

Mr. Miller came to Michigan from Monroe county, New York, in 1856. 
Aaron Hunt entered one hundred and sixty acres, which was the south half 
of the northwest quarter and the east half of the southwest quarter of sec- 
tion 15, where he resided until his death, in the spring of 1867. His son, 
Eli Hunt, served in the Union army during the Rebellion. 

George W. Entrican, another early resident of Douglass, was born in 
Oakland county, to which place his parents came in 1836, being among its 
first settlers. He came to Easton, Ionia county, in 1847. He was among 
the first to enlist from Douglass, and served two years and six months in 
Company K, Twenty-first Regiment, Michigan Volunteer Infantry, partici- 
pating in the campaigns of the Army of the Cumberland under General 
McCook. For two years he was clerk of the township. Joseph and A. 
Ellsworth were the first permanent settlers in the southwest part. Clif- 
ford lake is named after Mr. Clifford, a feeble old man who settled near it, 
and who was found dead beside an oak log, having been taken sick sud- 
denly while at work. 

Although as early as 1853 the settlement of Douglass commenced, and 
from this time until 1864 many additions were made, but few became per- 
manent settlers in the township. The great obstacle to its prosperity was 
the total lack of highways and the consequent inconvenience to travel. The 
general routes to the north had been through the township to the east and 
Pine and Cato to the west. A state road was early located along the east 
bank of Flat river, but when the saw-mill at Langston and a bridge across 
the river at that place were completed, and this route to the Big Rapids 


made passable, no further attention was given the route through Douglass 
until many years after. As it became necessary, the settlers each as they 
came underbrushed the road where it appeared the most feasible, and as a 
consequence, it wound about all conceivable obstacles. After the organiza- 
tion of the township it was considerably improved, S. L. Smith doing a large 
part of the work. The improvements in other parts of the township were 
rapid, large sums of money being' raised by taxing land held by speculators. 

The river road originally followed as near as possible an Indian trail 
which extended along the east bank of the river to the Indian settlement 
near the central part of Douglass. It: contained about forty families under 
Shogwogino, who built and occupied a house located on the farm of S. L. 
Smith. In i860 the entire tribe, with the exception of three families, were 
removed to the North by the government. ft appears from the clearing 
made and the land which they tilled being free of stumps that they had lived 
here many years previous to the entry of the whites. 

About three years after his settlement in Douglass. Peter Johnson, 
already referred to, went to Greenville to find work, as was his custom, to 
procure the necessary provisions for his family. Tt was the year so long 
remembered on account of the late frosts, when the little pieces of corn and 
garden stuffs of the settlers, so important to them, were totally destroyed, 
when want and suffering abounded on every hand, and had it not been for 
aid voted by the state and sent gratuitously from older settled districts abso- 
lute famine must have prevailed. Game, which to this time had been plenti- 
ful, suddenly became scarce and almost impossible to be secured, and when 
obtained was lean and unpalatable. The following spring little children 
barefooted scoured the banks of streams before the frost had fairly left the 
ground to find succulent plants to be boiled and eaten. To find work was . 
almost impossible; nevertheless, Peter Johnson left his family and went to 
Greenville, as before stated. While absent his wife, who in a recent illness 
had been attended by Mrs. Stephen Aldrich, who lived nearly two miles 
distant and who walked that distance through the forest many times to see 
her and administer to her wants, went to the house of Mrs. Goodwater to 
ask her to come and stay with her children, which she had left sleeping in a 
cradle near the lire, while she called on Mrs. Aldrich, who was now ill. The 
two women returned and found the cabin enveloped in flames and the roof 
just falling in. The mother was almost paralyzed but was taken away from 
the spot by Mrs. Goodwater, and by her conducted to the house where she 
had intended to call. The children, the elder of whom was two and one- 
half years of age, and the younger a babe, perished in the flames. Their 
charred remains were gathered the following morning, placed in a box and 


buried near the site upon which the cabin stood. It is said the parents did 
not visit the spot, but removed to the south part of the county. Olive, the 
elder of the two, was the first white child born in the township, and it was 
proposed to name it in her honor, but owing to a similarity of this name 
with another in the south part of the state it was abandoned. 

The first marriage in Douglass was that of William Goodwater to Mrs. 
Julia Buckley, and took place in the house of Leonard Buckley. 

The cemetery on the farm of the late Stephen Aldrich was the first 
public burial place in Douglass, and the first person interred here was Will- 
iam Entrican. 

The first orchard was probably set out by Aaron Hunt, in the spring 
of 1864, and contained one hundred trees. James Lee built the first framed 
dwelling in the winter of 1865-66, and about the same time Moses Hunt 
built the first framed barn, on the northeast quarter of section 14. 


Entrican is the only town, or rather village, in Douglass township at ( 
the present. It lies in the south-central part of section 9, and although an 
old town, it was never platted. It began its existence in the lumber days, 
and with the exhaustion of this industry, has fought bravely to maintain an 
existence. Located, as it is, in the central part of the township some eight 
miles northwest of Stanton, it has proved a trading center. There are at 
present some fifty inhabitants, with two churches and a postoffice. 

The business interests of the town consists of two stores, owned by 
Herman Smith and Ray Pintler. There is also a small blacksmith shop for 
the convenience of its patrons. In the palmy days, when the lumber indus- 
try was at its height, millions of feet of logs passed down Flat river, which 
Mows only a short distance to the west of Entrican, and the saw-mills at this 
place did a nourishing business. But those days are over and the interests 
of Entrican are kept alive by the farmers of this section. 


Point Richards, which lies in the extreme southwestern part of Doug- 
lass township and on the west side of Clifford lake, was platted on June 11, 
1 88 1, for James W. and Nettie D. Richards, proprietors, by F. A. Palmer, 
surveyor. This is now the location of the Clifford lake summer resort, 
which is owned and managed by Ulysses G. Hayden. It is quite a resort 
and consists of a hotel, dancing pavilion and a few cottages. The dancing 
pavilion is unique and original, having been built around a large oak tree. 



Fureka township began its existence at the same time that Montcalm 
county was organized. The Legislature which erected' this county also offi- 
cially organized Fureka township, under the Act No. 177, approved on 
March 28, 1850. This township consisted of congressional township 9 
north, range 8 west, and was set oft from Montcalm township, of which it 
was originally a part. Jt lies in the extreme southwestern part of the county 
and is bounded on the north by Montcalm township, on the east by I '"air- 
plain township, on the south by Ionia county and on the west by Kent county. 
The first town meeting was ordered to be held at "the district school house, 
near the Greenville postoffice." 

At the meeting held in the township to choose a suitable cognomen for 
the new born township, after a due amount of discussion, it was christened 
Wabasis, after the creek of that name that Hows through the township. The 
creek itself having been named, long lie fore this time, after Wabasis, an 
Indian chief, and therein- hangs a tale. The son, John, of this Indian chief, 
relates that his father offended his tribe by deeding certain lands to the 
United States, in consequence he was condemned to be banished to that part 
of the country lying north of Wabasis creek and west of Flat river, the 
understanding being that he was not to venture south of these precincts 
under penalty of death. Unfortunately for him he allowed designing Indians 
to persuade him to take part in a pow-wow at the mouth of Flat river, and 
during the ceremony he was set upon and killed. But returning to the name 
Wabasis, it seems that this did not appear to strike the fancy of A. L. Roof, 
the legislative representative of the district, as favorably as it did the town- 
people. So of his own volition he substituted the name Eureka, which 
means "I have found it," but just why he made this change cannot now be 
determined. It happened that the good people of this township were at first 
prone to look upon Mr. Roof's amendment as discourteous, but eventually 
they became reconciled to the name, and it has never been changed. 

The first town meeting was held in the school house of district No. 1. 


April i, 1850, as ordered by the act of March 28th. Stephen H. Warren 
was chosen moderator at this initial meeting; Ethan Satterlee, inspector; 
John Porter and Aaron G. Stockholm, clerks. There were sixty-six votes 
cast at this election, and the following officers elected : Supervisor, Rose- 
crans Divine; clerk, Westbrook Divine, who was the only candidate for this 
office; treasurer, A. W. Maynard ; justices of peace, Hiram II. Slawson and 
John M. Sheldon; highway commissioners, John C. Stockholm, for three 
vears, Abram koosa, for two years, Ethan Satterlee, for one year; school 
inspectors, John Porter and Josiah Bradish ; assessors, Nathaniel Coons and 
George Van Ness: constables, Henry Satterlee, Enoch R. Wilcox, J. M. 
Recker and Elijah Van Derhoof; overseers of the poor, Enoch R. Wilcox 
and Ethan Satterlee. Thus the township of Eureka, the fourth township to 
be organized in Montcalm county, took on a definite government 


It seems fairly well established that the first settlement in Eureka town- 
ship and also in Montcalm county was made in .August, 1814. Hon. West- 
brook Divine, who was a prominent figure in the early history of the county, 
has related the story of that settlement, together with mention of incidents 
leading thereto and following after, the substance of which is here set out: 

In August. 1 843, Stephen H. Warren and R. K. Divine, then living in 
central New York, started for the far West in search of land locations. 
After looking over the southern portion of the state where they hoped to 
find places to suit them, without, however, succeeding to their taste, they 
visited Grand Rapids. There they met John Rail, who advised them to visit 
Montcalm county, and acting upon the suggestion they found sure enough, 
in what is now Eureka township, such land tracts as they wanted. Each 
selected one hundred and twenty acres in section 34, and thus having finished 
what he had come for, Divine returned at once to the East for his family. 
Warren concluded to stop behind, and arranging to board at John Shaw's, 
in Otisco, worked during the month ensuing upon his Eureka farm, break- 
ing up in that time about four acres. Mr. Warren's work, as noted, may 
therefore be regarded as the first attempt at land clearing in Eureka, and 
probably in the county as well. 

R. K. Divine reached his New York home in August, 1843, and on the 
4th of September, following, started once more for Michigan, accompanied 
by his wife and brother, Westbrook. Journeying via lake to Detroit, they 
bought an ox team at the latter place and pushed on by way of Scott's and 


Lyons village. Ten days after leaving Detroit, and sixteen after the depar- 
ture from their New York home, they landed at John Shaw's, September 20. 
They found Warren still on the ground and assisted by him and Westbrook 
Divine, R. K. Divine put up a framed house on section 34, the lumber being 
obtained at Dickinson's mill, in Otisco. Touching Stephen Warren, it may 
be briefly stated that he left for New York a few days after the arrival of 
the Divines, married there, and returned to Eureka in July, 1844, for a 
permanent settlement. He remained a citizen of the town until his death, 
in 1878. 

Mr. Divine's house, in which he moved on October 29, 1843, is said to 
have been the first house erected in the county. R. K. Divine lived in 
Eureka until 1866, when he removed to Oakland county, in Michigan. 

Hon. Westbrook Divine assisted his brother, R. K., until December, 
1843, when he bought sixty acres, and between work upon his own place 
and occasional labors for his brother he divided his time and energies until 
January, 1845, when, on the 27th of that month, he married Elizabeth 
Roosa, of Otisco, and took a place among the actual settlers of Eureka. 
Although Mr. Divine was the first one of Eureka's settlers to marry, he was 
married, as a matter of fact, out of the town. The first marriage in the 
town was that of Abraham Roosa, of Otisco, to Deborah, daughter of John 
Green, in February, 1845, at ^ r - Green's house, in what is now the city of 

While on this topic it may be well enough to record that the first birth 
in the town was that of Josephine, daughter of John Green, in June, 1845. 
She later became Mrs. Starkweather and resided in Greenville. The first 
male child born was John, son of R. K. Divine, January 16, 1846. He made 
his home in Oakland county, Michigan. The first death was that of Mrs. 
John Eoucks, who died in 1846, and was buried on the bank of the Flat 
river, above Greenville. After her death burials were chiefly made on Enos 
T. Peck's place, east of Greenville. But few persons were interred there, 
however, before the town laid out a burial place west of Greenville. 

There was some controversy as to the proper place for the location of 
the town cemetery, for about every man in town wanted the graveyard 
near his place, and when the matter came before the town board for decision 
there was such a conflict of opinion that, as the only method of determining ' 
who should locate the burial ground, it was resolved to draw cuts. It hap- 
pened that the task fell to Westbrook Divine, who bought of John Green 
four acres of land lying just west of Greenville, for which he paid one 


hundred dollars. His action in paying so much money for a cemetery site 
was generally regarded as a species of wild extravagance, and as a clincher 
popular argument pointed to the conclusion that the four acres would never 
be entirely occupied with graves, for the reasoning was that the town would 
not have people enough to make a sufficient number of deaths probable 
within at least a century. Divine simply said, "Wait and see." The grave- 
yard has long since 1>een so crowded with graves that no burials have taken 
place there for many a day. 

Until the summer of 1845 R. K. Divine, Westbrook Divine and Stephen 
Warren lived with their families in R. K. Divine's house. Warren built a 
house in 1845, an( l Westbrook Divine built one in 1846. 

In the earliest days of the settlement, milling was done at Ionia and 
wheat marketing chiefly at Grand Rapids. The latter trip, made with ox 
team via Plainfield, and there across the river via ferry, usually consumed 
three days for the round journey. When the night camp was made bells 
were tied upon the cattle and the traveler himself, using the ox yoke as his 
pillow, slept soundly enough until opening dawn warned him to be up and 
away. Westbrook Divine hauled a load of twenty-four bushels of wheat 
to Grand Rapids and selling it at fifty cents per bushel, took his pay in money 
issued by Daniel Ball's bank. Before he reached home the bank failed, and 
the twelve dollars that young Divine had looked upon as a fat reward for 
his produce and labored efforts to get it to market melted away to nothing- 
ness, like mist before the morning sun. It was pretty hard, but he had 
to stand it. After keeping the money a year in the hope that it would be 
redeemed he sold it at seven cents on the dollar, at which rate it yielded him 
for his wheat just three cents and a half per bushel. 

Lyman H. Pratt, Ethan Satterlee, Sr., and Westbrook Divine, as the 
first board of highway commissioners of Montcalm township, laid out the 
first roads in the present town of Eureka. One of the roads was a con- 
tinuation, from the south line of Montcalm, of the road coming northward 
from Cook's Corners. That road they carried on to Lincoln's mill on the 
north — a distance of eight miles. Another road, laid about the same time, 
was one from Warren's Corners to Greenville, and a third a branch road 
from Greenville into Fairplain. 

Besides having been one of the first highway commissioners chosen in 
Montcalm, Westbrook Divine was chosen the first town clerk of Eureka; 
was in 1850 elected county register of deeds, in which office he continued 
four years; was supervisor for Eureka from 1856 to 1881 (with the excep- 
tion of only two years) ; served two terms as state senator, from 1863 to 


1867; was appointed United States assessor in 1867 and retained the place 
until the office was abolished, in 1872; was in 1875 appointed by Governor 
Bag-ley as one of the commissioners of the Ionia house of correction (of 
which he was one of the board of managers) ; was president of the Excel- 
sior Agricultural Society of Otisco from 1871 ; was president of the board 
of directors of the People's Fire Insurance Company of the counties of 
Ionia and Montcalm; and for a long time was prominently identified with 
Grange affairs in town, county and state. Such a record is of some conse- 
quence, and in a historical way receives additional lustre from the fact that 
its possessor was the oldest living resident in the county until his death, and 
one of its very first settlers. 


One of the earliest land entries in Montcalm county is said to be a tract 
of forty-nine acres in lot 8, on section 22, upon the bank of the Flat river. 
The patentee, Silas Saxton, of New York, entered the land in 1839, and 
for a long time it laid wholly idle. Mr. Saxton paid the taxes regularly on 
it, and when asked why he did not improve it or sell it, said that he wanted 
to keep it for the satisfaction of owning some Michigan land, and that 
although he did not care to have it improved, his children might some day 
take a notion to make a farm of it. 

The earliest coiners (outside of Greenville), next to the Divines and 
Warrens, were the Satterlees. There were Ethan Satterlee and his three 
married sons, Alexander, Ethan, Jr., and Henry (each of whom was a man 
of family), and four unmarried sons and daughters. The Satterlees owned 
about six hundred acres of land located on sections 7, 8 and 28. Henry, 
who had come on to prepare the way. as it were, had been on the ground 
about two weeks when his father and the other members of the family 
arrived. When the latter reached Eureka all hands moved into Henry's 
shanty, and on the following day Satterlee and his sons put up a house, and 
finished it before night ready for occupancy, although to tell the truth it 
was not much of a house. The Satterlees brought in five teams of horses 
and a drove of cattle, the horses being the first animals of that kind to enter 
the town. There had been ■ horses in the vicinity, owned by Cook Morse 
and Shaw, but they lived in Otisco. Ethan Satterlee. the elder and his son, 
Alexander, located on section 8, Henry on section 7. and Ethan, Jr., on sec- 
tion 28. The Divines and Warren probably put in the first orchard, the 
trees for which he brought from Jackson. 


One of Ethan Satterlee's daughters, named Catharine, taught at Green- 
ville in T846, the first school known in Montcalm county. She taught two 
summers in Greenville, and for two summers after that in the Loucks neigh- 
borhood, east of Greenville, where Harriet Wilcox was perhaps the first 
teacher. During the period that Miss Satterlee taught in the Loucks neigh- 
borhood, the settlers thereabouts included the two Loucks families, the May- 
nards. Sandersons, Sanders, Moores and Moors. North of Greenville, on 
the Flat river in section 9. was a small band of Indians called Blacksmith 
Indians, who to the number of a dozen or more, lived on a forty-acre patch 
of land and pretended to cultivate it, but who did far less land cultivating 
than loafing and begging. They lived in huts and eked out a precarious 
existence by hunting and fishing and sugar-making until the filling up of the 
country drove out the game, and then the loafing redskins made off for 
more northerly latitudes. 


In 1846, John C. Stockholm, a New Yorker, came West to embark in 
the lumbering business with the Worden Brothers, of Wordens' mills, in 
Montcalm township. When Stockholm reached the country he concluded 
the lumbering business would not suit him, and determining to engage in 
pioneering in its stead, bought of James Kerr, on section 33, in Eureka, a 
farm of which Mr. Kerr had improved thirty-six acres, and had built thereon 
a log house and framed barn, the latter (erected in 1845) being the first 
one of the kind in Eureka. On the town line south of him were R. K. 
Divine, Westhrook, Divine, Stephen Warren and Lorenzo Whitney. The 
latter, who had been in about two years, lived east of Westhrook Divine, 
and after a residence of seven years moved back to New York state. 

In 1847, *'\- ^- Stockholm, brother of John C., came out to Eureka to 
look around, and looked around to such good purpose that he bought one 
hundred and twenty acres of land on section 32. In 1848 he went back to 
New York state and married. In 1849 he returned to Michigan for perma- 
nent settlement. John C. Stockholm resided in Eureka until T865 when he 
embarked in business at Cook's Corners, in Otisco. About the time of A. 
G. Stockholm's coming to Eureka in 1847, came also Josiah Bradish, who 
in 1850 sold out to WMlliam Stokes and moved to Fairplain. 

Henry M. Moore, already mentioned as one of the earlest settlers, 
opened the first store in the township, on section it, in 1848, just without 
the present limits of Greenville. William Backus was one of Mr. Moore's 


clerks, of whom two others were W. E. Sholes and E. B. Campbell. The 
location was probably not a profitable one for trade, for after a two-years 
experience Mr. Moore closed the store. Outside of Greenville that was the 
only place of trade Eureka ever possessed. 

The first white woman to penetrate into the territory north of Wabasis 
creek is said to have been a woman who in the spring of 1844 went over the 
creek and into Greenville to keep house for John Green and his mill hands. 
Her name cannot now be recalled. 

Mr. Nelson came in somewhere about 1850 and not long afterwards 
caused the creation of Eureka postoffice and the appointment of himself as 
postmaster — a place that he held until the office was discontinued. 


Greenville, the chief commercial town of Montcalm county, is located 
in the north-central part of Eureka township, but the history of this town 
will be taken up in detail in another chapter. The only other town in 
Eureka township which was ever platted is that of South Park. This is a 
summer resort and is located in section 21 on the south banks of Baldwin 
lake. It was surveyed and platted by M. Cankin for Carpenter C. Merritt, 
Mary A. Merritt, his wife, Peter McDermond and Carrie McDermond, his 
wife, proprietors, September 23, 1895. At present there are a number of 
cottages and this is a popular local resort for the people of this section to 
spend the summer along the lake. 


The name of this resort is now locally known as Baldwin Lake resort. 
Cottages are located all around the lake and these are owned mostly by the 
people of Greenville who make this their summer home. These cottages are 
built on either side but mostly on the right side of the drive which extends 
entirely around the lake. This is a very beautiful resort, and one of the 
largest and most popular in the township. 


Erom the highway records of the township of Montcalm, it appears that 
previous to the organization of town 9, there were twenty surveys of roads 
in that town. The first four were as follows : May 27, 1845, a roa ^ com- 


mencing at a post twenty chains east of section 33, and ending at the mill 
yard of Green & Company; SqDtember 9, 1845, a road commencing at the 
quarter post on the south side of section 33, and ending at the quarter post 
on the west side of section 6; December 9, 1845, a roa d commencing at the 
northeast corner of section 16, and running eastward to the quarter post on 
the east side of section 13. June 25, 1846, a road lying on a line between 
the towns of Montcalm and Courtland, commencing at the northwest corner 
of section 6, town 9 north, range 8 west, and ending at the southeast corner 
of section 31, town 9 north, range 8 west. 

On May 13, 1850, the township of Eureka was divided into ten road- 
districts. District No. 1 included sections 7, 8, 17 and 18. No. 2 com- 
menced at the southwest corner of section 16, ran east to Flat river, up the 
river to the quarter section line on the east side of section 9; thence north 
on said line to the northeast corner of said section; thence south to the south- 
west corner of section 1 6, the place of beginning. No. 3 commenced at the 
quarter post on the north side of section 2, running south on the quarter line 
to the quarter post on the south side of section 11; thence west on section 
line to the centre of Flat river; thence up the centre of Flat river to the 
west side of section to; thence north to the northwest corner of section 3; 
thence east to the quarter post on the north side of section 2, to the place of 
beginning. No. 4 included sections 13 and 14, and all of 15 lying on the 
eastern side of Flat river. No. 5 included the south half of section 25, the 
south half of 26, the whole of 27, the southeast quarter of 28, the east half 
of 33, the whole of 34, 35 and 36, and lot No. 8 on section 22. No 6 
included section 1. the east half of 2, the east half of 11, and the whole of 
12. No. 7 included the southwest quarter of section 28, the south half of 
29, the south half of 30. the whole of 31 and 32, and the west half of 33. 
No. 8 commenced at the northwest corner of section T9, and ran eastward 
to the center of Flat river; thence down the river to the quarter line of sec- 
tion 27 ; thence west to the quarter post on the west side of section 30, thence 
north to the place of beginning. No. 9 included sections 4, 5 and 6. No. 
10 commenced at the northeast corner of section 24, and ran west to Flat 
river; thence down said river to the quarter line of section 26; thence east 
to the quarter post on the east side of 25; thence north to the place of 


Section 1 — Henry Bray ton, Peter Green, John Porter, Rufus K. Moors, 
Phite Monroe. Charles Hubbs, C. W. Butter. Section 2 — Hiram Rossman, 


George Rossman, Elijah Warden, Hiram Rossman. Charles Plubbs, Levi 
Makley, Phite Rossman, William W'alkington. Section 3 — Fite Rossman. 
George Loucks, Noah Robbins, TTenry AT. Aloore, Lewis E. Smith, Jacob W. 
Petty. Section 4 — Russell, Green and Demerest, James Kerr, Lewis K. 
Smith, Smith Miller, George Rossman. Section 5- -George Kelley, Joseph 
Brown and John Allcroft, William Degotis, George Loucks and Fite Ross- 
man, Leonard Stewart. Fdward Butler, Jacob W. Petty, John I). Wilson. 
George W. Peck, ATartiu Shearer. Section 6 — Henry IT. Rowland, Smith 
Rowland, George W. Peck. John D. Wilson, Andrew P. Growell. John AI. 
Sheldon, George Green. Section 7 — Amos L. Fay, Henry Satterlee. Pri 
Satterlee, Ezra Satterlee. Section 8— William Atwood, James AlcGinley, 
George Kelley, Robert Shaw. Fthan Satterlee. Section 9 — Ethan Satterlee, 
Josiah Russels, S. Demerest. Section to — Charles Harrison, Henry AI. 
Aloore. George Vanness. Jacob W\ Petty. George Holmden, Charles Sey- 
mour, James Grant, Amos PL Russell and Alexander X. Loomis, Tra Porter. 
Section 1 1 — William Holinden, Charles Seymour, George Loucks, James 
Grant, Richard A. Porter, Henry AI. Aloore, Levi Alakley Evans Williams. 
Section 12 — Miles Porter, Rufus K. Aloors, Richard A. Porter. Section 
13 — Ira Porter, John and William AI. Porter, Lewis E. Johnson. Section 
14 — John Porter, Henry AI. Aloore, Levi Peck, George Loucks, Daniel W r . 
Tomlinson, Augustus W. Maynard. Section 15 — Ira Porter, Thomas 
Green. Evan Williams. Daniel W. Tomlinson, Joseph C. Bailey. Section 
16 — John Loucks, Henry M. Aloore, Thomas Green, Smith and Aloore. 
James Chamberlain, Lewis E. Smith. Enos T. Peck, Samuel B. Peck, Mann- 
ing Rutan, George and Erastus Fisher. .Samuel B. Peck, James B. Cham- 
berlain, Leonard Conant. A. S. Watson. Section 17 — George \\". King, 
Ethan Satterlee, Alexander Satterlee, William Kitts. Ethan Satterlee. Sec- 
tion 18 — Norman Satterlee, William B. Floyd. William Stuver, Abel Bill. 
David I. Pennock. Solomon Satterlee. Section 19 — Enoch Brown, 'Madder 
Alacomber, Solomon Satterlee, George W r . Paul, John C. Stockholm, Emilv 
A. Shons, Fanny S. Ribber, Abel Bill, Freeman Satterlee, William Stockes, 
Levi Alacomber, Gordon B. Bently, Samuel V. Carpenter. John B. Potter, 
John C. Burgess, J. AI. Fuller. Section 20 — Solomon Satterlee, Warren 
Chapin, Morton Shearer. Jonathan Arnold, Daniel Fitzgerald. .Samuel 
Road. Catherine Satterlee, William Stokes, Daniel IT. Perkins, Whitney 
Jones, Allen D. Corey. Section 21 — Ethan Satterlee, C. P. Bush, and C. 
A. Jeffreys. Section 22 — Silas Saxten. Jerod Wilson, James Grant, Daniel 
Benson, AToses B. Hiss. Jessie A. Parker, George W. Peck. Section 23 — 


Daniel Ransom, James Grant, Henry M. Moore. Section 24 — James T. 
Tallman, John R. Tallman, John Porter, William H. Saunders, J. D. and 
R. C. Miller, William Wells, Samuel Monroe. Section 25 — W r illiam Wells, 
George Willson, J. Van Wormer, Leander Cole, Francis Crawford. Sec- 
tion 26— -Leonard Kipp. Section 2j — Tsaac Young. Section 28 — Ethan 
Satterlee, James Grant, Alonson D. Force. Section 29 — Aaron G. Stock- 
holm. Thomas I lay, Barron Weaver, Ashael K. Cole, George E. Case, J. 
K. Schoaten, Edwin Ranney, Richard D. Bcntly, S(|uire (Cogswell. Section 
30 — John Ball. John Rossman, Horace D. Plato, G. H. Shons, Howel 
Ashly, Oscar M. Hall, John Rossman. Ashly Osgood, John Davis, William 
S. Switzer, Jacob Davis, John Davis, Lyman W. Luscom, John House, 
David Crawford, Charles Hanson. Section 3T — John Rossman, E. E. 
Relding, Oscar M. Hall, Daniel E. Stokes, Newman Putney, David Dean, 
Hcnen Spaulding, J. Fletcher, Melissa W. Smith, Jacob Crawford, Edward 
Jackson. Section 7,2 — Lewis D. Rhodes, William Slagt, John Ball, James 
Grant, Aaren G. Stockholm. Allen Thompson, James Kerr, Nathaniel Coons, 
James L. B. Kerr. Benjamin Caswell. Section 33 — Orpheus Nelson, Edwin 
A. Harden, Josiah B radish. Henry Bevorce, Simon Root, Ezekiel Wood, 
James L. B. Kerr. Section 34 — Stephen H. Warren, Rosecrans Divine. 
Westbrook Divine. Jesse Whitney. Aaron Weaver, H. Warren and R. 
Divine. Stephen H. Warren, James Grant. Section 35 — John Riker, James 
Grant. Joseph Bailey, Jesse Whitney, Abner Wright, Roscrans Divine, John 
W. Follas. James Grant. Section 36 — James Grant, Henry M. Moore, 
Morton Shearer, Leander Cole. Adam L. Roof. James Grant, Ira Porter, 
David Burnet, Rendall Woodard, Amos Tosiah, William Russell. 



Evergreen township is one of the interior divisions of Montcalm county 
and is situated southeast from Stanton, the county seat. It is bounded on 
the north by Day township, on the east by Crystal, on the south by Bushnell 
and on the west by Sidney, and is designated on the government survey as 
township 10 north, range 6 west. 

At the regular session of the board of supervisors held on the first 
Tuesday in March, 1856, a petition was presented bearing the signatures 
of the following freeholders of the township of Bushnell : Ira Rider, S. 
Allchin, C. Allchin, E. Allchin, Robert Bennett, W. Phinesey, Asa Gris- 
wold, James Griswold, Moses T. Bennett, William Griffin, Lyman Stevens 
and E. H. Stevens. These petitioners prayed that the honorable board 
divide said township of Bushnell and organize town 10 north, range 6 west, 
into a separate township to be called Evergreen. This petition was dated 
on January 12, 1856, and was published in the Montcalm Reflector, of 
Greenville. There were also the additional names of C. C. Bacon, Joseph 
Gallope, G. W. Stevens, J. Stevens, C. G. Tyler, C. W. Olmstead and Edwin 
Comstock on the original petition, which were not given in the Reflector 

The petition for the erection of this township was presented to the 
board of supervisors of the county by Ira Rider, at the time a representa- 
tive from Washtenaw county, though a resident of this township. As the 
name indicates, it was selected on account of the prevailing kinds of timber 
found in this section. 


The first purchases of lands in the township were made upon the vari- 
ous sections as here indicated : 

Section 1 — Henry Crapo, William Crapo, David Montross, Lorenzo D. 
Montross, Israel E. Richardson, Aaron Clark. Section 2 — Philip H. 
Martz, Henry H. Crapo, Robert Gregory, Sncel C. Hinds, Emily J. Hinds. 
Section 3— Ambrose L. Soule, Henry H. Crapo, John W. Abbott, Emily J. 


Hinds, Henry J. Kingsbury, Levi Harrod, David Curtis, Elisha L. Hill. 
Section 4 — Ambrose L. Soule, John Walters, Alfred Richardson. Section 
5— P. H. Chapin, Ambrose L. Soule, Frederick Hall. Section 6 — Ambrose 
Soule, Frederick Flail. Section 7 — Charles Bean, Ambrose L. Soule, 
Frederick Hall, Benjamin Fowle, William Paterson. Section 8 — Charles 
Bean, Ambrose L. Soule, Eastman Colby, Horatio Peck, Philander Ben- 
nett, Richard Morgan, Sylvester Spencer, William Boyer. Section 9 — 
Ambrose L. Soule, Frederick Hall, Alfred Richardson, John Walters, E. L. 
Frazer, P. R. Howe, G. B. Isham, Samuel Besseguie. Section 10 — P. R. 
Howe, George B. Isham, Henry H. Crapo, John Wilkinson, Charles A. 
Cook, Louisa E. Richardson, Emily J. Hinds, Jerry Buckley, Henry Kings- 
bury, James Case, David Carter, Elish L. Hill. Section 11 — Philip H. 
Martz, Henry II. Crapo, William H. Corbin, Charles A. Cook, Orlando 
Goolthite, Jacob B. Smith, William H. Whipple. Section 12 — Oliver H. 
P. Goodwin, Joseph McCurdy, William S. Bills, F. M. Hinds, William 
Cramer. Section 13- — Frederick Hall, Stephen F. Page, Oliver H. F. Good- 
win, David G. Hoag. Lorenzo D. Smith, Chancey Case, William H. Whip- 
ple. Section 14 — Frederick Hall, P. H. Martz, Samuel Greenhoe, Orlando 
Goolthite, William Whipple. Section 15 — Stephen F. Page, David D. 
Hoag, Henry II. Crapo, Frederick Hall, John Wilkinson, Ezra Burgess, 
Levi Farbell. Section 16 — -Albert Van Vleck, Eastman Colby. Section 17 
— Jay Olmstead, Charles Bean, Charles Merrill, Ambrose L. Soule, David 
R. Chandler, Colby & Company. Section 18— Charles Merrill, Charles 
Bean, Colby & Company, Thomas Patterson, Ralph Collingwood, Isaac T. 
Baker. Section 19 — Charles Merrill, Charles Bean, Jeremiah D. Gleason, 
L. B. Townsen, Jane Rodgers, Joseph D. Burgess, Margaret Decker. Sec- 
tion 20 — Jay Olmstead, Charles Bean, Wallace Gleason. Section 21 — Fitz 
Robinson, Stephen Robinson, Jay Olmstead, John T. Sherman, Stephen 
Page, Mary E. Chase. Section 22 — Jay Olmstead, Joseph Scott, Ambrose 
L. Soule, Stephen F. Page, H. F. Deal, O. W. Holly, John Wolverton, C. 
C. Darling, Joseph Hanchett, A.' C. Hanchett. Section 23 — Frederick 
Hall, Peter Carr, Joseph Begole, Joshua Begole, L. B. Jennings, Gilbert 
Stover, John P. Place, Benjamin Soule, William Blake, S. P. Loomis, W. 
R. White, M. Greenhoe. Section 24 — Aaron Brown, Persis Robinson, John 
M. Phelps, Jeremiah Van Nest, Frederick Hall, Benjamin Soule, Daniel 
Morton. Section 25 — Daniel Morton, Jacob Fake, Charles Rawlson, Ira 
Lothrop, Louis S. Lovell, Charles Merrill. Section 26 — Louis S. Lovell; 
Christopher Rice, Christopher Greenhoe, Charles Conklin, H. N. Jenks, 


William Morgan, William R. Evans, John Arntz, Hampton Rich. Section 
27 — Emma Ripley, Ambrose L. Soule, Henry Arntz, George E. Case, San- 
ford North, Christopher Greenhoc, Vinson Darling, David Hall, William 
Scott, Albert Van Vleck, William E. Balcon, Hamilton Rich. Section 28 — 
Jay Olmstead, Ambrose Soule, John B. Utter, Charles Richardson, Isaac 
Allen, George F. Case, Vinson Darling. Section 29 — Jay Olmstead, Will- 
iam Thompson. Stephen E Page, William Phinesey, Frederick Hall, John 

B. Utter. 'Robert Bennett. Section 30 — Charles Merrill, Frederick Hall. 
William IF Waterhouse, Erastus P. Brown, Alfred C. Mitchell. William 
Goodwin. C. C. Darling, Henry W. Fewis, William Eaton, Edmond Hall. 
Section 31 — Edwin Merrifield, Joseph P. Powell, Jeremiah D. Gleason. ' 
Frederick Hall, Thomas Bywater, Darwin Cleveland, Erastus P. Brown, 

C. C. Darling, Gilbert Cook. Section 32 — Erastus P. Brown, William 
Tillotson, Frederick Hall, Richard Derrick, Thomas Bywater, Horace Cas- 
well, Thomas F. Post. Section ^t, — William Morgan, F. Hall, R. D. Smith. 
Alfred V. Roosa. Thomas Bennett, W. F. Drake. John F. Morrison, 
Thadeus Hickok, Abel Bywater. Section 34 — William F. Drake. William 
Morgan, Thadeus Hickok. William Carter, Tmri Kinney, Oscar Talcott. 
Albert Van Vleck, Silas P. Foornis. E. M. Davis. Section 35 — Xathaniel 
S. Benton, Louis S. Lovell, William Stone, Xathaniel Benton, Hiram Dunn, 
Sylvester Arntz, Thomas Dickinson, John Tyler, Silas P. Loomis. Section 
36 — John W. Prosser, Jonathan McElrov, Mortimer Gillco. Hugh Calla- 
han. Louis S. Lovell, Ambrose L. Soule. 


The settlement of Evergreen began properly in 1848, when a saw-mill 
was commenced on section 21. Tt is asserted that the land upon which it 
stood was entered by Fite Rossman, and that he was the prime mover in 
the enterprise. Although he may have been connected with the mill he 
entered no land, and his connection with the company at most was of short 
duration. Even before this, and years after, he is remembered to have 
taken cattle to the rush beds of Gratiot county to winter and from this Jay 
Olmstead became connected with the mill property as early as 1849, and 
employed a man named Patrick to oversee it and his wife to keep the board- 
ing house, which was the first dwelling house erected in the township. At 
one time, while looking for cattle, Patrick became belated in the woods. 
As night came on the distant howling of wolves gradually came nearer, and 
increased until he was aware that he was being surrounded. As it became 


more difficult to pick his way homeward, he could see them crossing and 
recrossing his way in front, while a hungry pack were steadily coming 
nearer behind. Deeming, in view of these circumstances, discretion the 
better part of valor, he took to a tree, and through the night listened to the 
chorus of their voices. With the first break of day they dispersed, and he 
returned home, much to the relief of his wife, who had watched for his 
coming all night and had been similarly entertained. This family soon aftex 
left the mill, and William Castel was employed. 

The mill next came into the possession of Ira Ryder, in 1854, who 
became one of Evergreen's most prominent citizens, and who owned it dur- 
ing the settlement of the most of this part of the county. He brought 
a wife and three children to the township. On the 21st of October, 1854, 
William Morgan and his brother-in-law, R. D. Smith, came in and found 
employment at the mill referred to. They worked here and at other mills 
until September, 1855, when William Morgan entered the east half of the 
northwest quarter of section 32. He built a cabin here, but owing to a 
mistake in the description or minutes of his land, lost his claim and improve- 
ments the following spring. He at once entered another piece, upon which 
he lived for a long time. R. D. Smith returned to the township and 
remained until entering the Union army. 

The next settler was Robert Bennett, who settled on the southeast 
quarter of the southwest quarter of section 29, and built his cabin in 
September, 1855. His house was the second built in the township aside 
from those at the mills. He did not bring his family from his former home 
in Xorthplain until the following spring. 

In the winter of 1855-56 William Phinesey, from Orange, Ionia 
county, came in and built a small ''shingle shanty" on land adjoining Mr. 
Bennett, to which he brought his family the following spring. He was a 
soldier of the Mexican W r ar and also of the Rebellion. 


The township was regularly organized in the spring of 1856, and the 
first assessment roll bears only the following names : Ira Ryder, William 
Phinesey, Amos Setter, Robert Bennett, William Morgan. 

During the summer several new settlers reached the township, among 
whom were Joseph Allen and two sons, Zene and Samuel, who located in 
section 28. He remained in Evergreen about fourteen years, when he dis- 
posed of his property and went to Bloomer. 


In September, Mortimer Gilleo, from New York, came in and settled 
on section 36. Hugh Callahan settled on the same section a little later. 

William Thompson moved from Northplain, where with his family, 
he had resided a number of years. His wife died on the way from Eng- 
land and was buried at sea. His family consisted of five children, four of 
whom were daughters. They settled near Phinesey lake, on the farm later 
owned by George Holland. William Thompson died in 1862, and his 
remains were the first interred in the cemetery on section 32. This ceme- 
tery was laid out on land owned by Augustus Derrick, from whom it was 
purchased by the township for twenty-five dollars. This sum was raised 
by direct taxation, and the condition upon which the vote passed and men- 
tioned in the deed was that any resident of the township should have the 
privilege of selecting a lot when needed for burial purposes. 

Augustus Derrick and his two sons came in 1856, and settled on sec- 
tion 2>'2y where they resided a number of years. They subsequently moved 
to Muir. About this time Philemon Hoisington, Joel Washburn and George 
E. Case became residents. The latter engaged in lumbering. John Arntz 
settled in Bushnell in 1857, He had been a soldier of 1812, in the Pennsyl- 
vania Volunteers, under Captain Culverson, and stood guard over the maga- 
zine at Baltimore for forty-eight hours in succession during the campaign 
there. In common with the soldiers of that war he received a land war- 
rant, with which he, in company with four sons, sought the frontier and 
located land on section 2, as before stated. In the War of 1861-65 his sons, 
John and Henry, took part. Sylvester Arntz, another oi the four, came 
to Evergreen and purchased land of William Stone on section 35. 

George Holland, a native of England, and formerly engaged in the 
mercantile business in Toronto, came to Evergreen for his health and 
engaged in the lumber business. 

Evergreen did not escape the windfall of 1855 nor the frosts and fire 
of 1856. The consequent suffering which nearly depopulated other town- 
ships was experienced here in all its severity. True, these times are not 
now often referred to, for those who endured the toil and privations have 
all passed away. The fire swept through the township and, ere checked 
by the rains and snows of winter, destroyed nearly all the improvements 
of the settlers. The frosts of August left them without provisions for 
present wants, and without means to procure, even when possible, sustenance 
for themselves and cattle. Many families at once left the country, others 
had invested all their means in land and the necessary farming implements 


and were compelled to remain. The wild hay and underbrush, upon which 
the cattle heretofore had wintered, was burned, and as a consequence the 
stock nearly all perished during the winter. Month after month wore away; 
provisions were very dear, a farm could not be mortgaged for sufficient to 
sustain a family a month. In many households cornmeal and water was 
the only food for many weeks, until at last the state voted aid, and the 
suffering was relieved. At this time Sylvester Arntz who still resides on 
his farm in the township went to Ohio, south of Toledo, and collected a 
small debt due his father, walking the entire distance both ways. 

For several years Ionia, Palo and Greenville were the places patronized 
by the inhabitants of Fvergreen. When the mills and stores were built at 
Anisden. that place being nearer, received considerable trade. The first 
store in the township was the one opened in Sheridan by Jonathan Forbes. 
The first blacksmith shop, and the only one for many years in Evergreen, 
was that of William Bells, who settled on the shore of Loon lake in an 
early day. 

The lirst sermon preached in the township was by Elder John Van 
Vleck, of the Baptist church, at the home of Robert Bennett. He was fol- 
lowed by Elder Randall, who preached in the school house. This society 
did not then form a church. The Methodist Episcopal church organized a 
class a number of years afterward. Elder Swim being on the circuit, but 
it continued only a short time. 


Sheridan is located at the conjunction of four townships, Evergreen, 
Sidney, Bushnell and Fairplain. It lies on both sides of the state road which 
separates Evergreen and Sidney townships. It was incorporated by the 
Legislature on March 30, 1877. The population of the village in 19 10 was 
436, an increase of 58 since 1904. 

In 1904, the date of the last official state census in Michigan, the popu- 
lation of 378 consisted of 191 males and 187 females; also, there were 362 
native-born citizens and 16 foreign born. The ratio of foreign born and 
native born population probably does not differ much today from the ratio 
in 1904. 

The first saw-mill in Sheridan was built and run by John Winsor, and 
it stood on th$ east shore of Bass, now Pearl lake. After a number of 
year this mill was destroyed by fire and Mr. Winsor then built another 


mill, which he sold to Ham Stanton. A company subsequently was formed 
by Mr. Winsor and Charles and George Stanton. The first was afterwards 
dissolved and the mill purchased by D. T. Fargo. E. P. Brown, in the 
meantime, had built a shingle-mill and sometime after the erection of the 
shingle-mill, a saw-mill. With the decline of the lumber industry, the mill- 
ing business at Sheridan disappeared. 

The first dry-goods store at Sheridan was opened in 1864 by Jonathan 
Forbes in a little room in the wing of his dwelling, which was the first frame 
dwelling in Sheridan. Mr. Forbes was appointed postmaster and was the 
first citizen oi the village to hold this position. Tie was succeeded in 1864 
by Erastus P. Brown, who was appointed to the place on October 14, of 
that year. Charles H. Stanton succeeded Brown on August 10, 1869, and 
Edgar A. Clarke, July 24, 1874. Stanton was again appointed August 20, 
1874, and served until March 19, 1877, when John S. Manning was 
appointed. Clifton H. Clement, who is one of the pioneers of the commun- 
ity and is still living at Sheridan, is one of the few Democrats before the 
present national administration, who has served as postmaster of the vil- 
lage. He was postmaster during Cleveland's second administration. George 
Holland is also a former postmaster of the village. 

Some time after Jonathan Forbes opened his store at Sheridan, he 
enlarged his house for the accommodation of travelers, but afterwards sold 
it to Mr. Keene, who enlarged it further and called it the Keene House. This 
was the first hotel in the village. In the. meantime, Lyman Smith, who 
owned the ground where the principal part of the village now stands, had 
begun the sale of lots, which was very rapid. The business interests of the 
town developed rapidly. The Keene House eventually came to be called the 
Keen Exchange, but it has long since been abandoned. For a number of 
years John Dolan conducted the Hotel Uolan, at Sheridan. The Hotel 
Dolan was, prior to the time Mr. Dolan obtained possession of it, the Davis 
Flouse and during that period was owned by W. B. Davis. There are two 
hotels in Sheridan at the present time, the Central hotel, operated by T. C. 
Houghtaling, and the Sheridan hotel, operated by E. A. Rutherford. Frank 
Wilson, who ran the Hotel Wilson, is still living at Sheridan. 

After Mr. Forbes' store, another store was opened in the building later 
owned by Lewis, who kept a hardware store in it. It was kept by O. S. 
Stebbins, who also served as one of the postmasters of the village. W. B. 
Stone, another early citizen of Sheridan, operated a store, shingle-mill and 
saw-mill for some years. 


George W. Stanton, whose death occurred about 1905, was a prominent 
lumberman and farmer of Sheridan during his life. Dan T. Fargo, who 
was a lumberman and saw-mill operator, died about eight years ago. John 
W. Prestel, who was in the lumber business at Sheridan, and an extensive 
mill operator, died in December, 1914, at Payette, Idaho, and is buried there. 
E. J. Barkham and Jesse Summers operated a grist-mill at Sheridan for a 
long period, Summers died in 1905 and Barkham is still living at Sheridan. 
The grist-mill was torn down when the new elevator was built, in 1915. 

C. II. Clement, who ran an elevator at Sheridan for some time, sold 
the elevator of E. A. Rutherford on August 14, 1910, and this elevator 
burned in 1915. Mr. Rutherford rebuilt on the same site with the old grist- 
mill, which he had purchased. Mr. Clement, who is a native of New York 
state, and a veteran of the Seventeenth Regiment, Michigan Volunteer 
Infantry, came to Sheridan in 1883, an d for a long time conducted a general 
mercantile store. He sold out to the J. G. Cutler & Company, March 27, 
1905. J. P. Conley, who was in the elevator and produce business at Sheri- 
dan for many years, died at Seattle, Washington, in 1908, after he had gone 
there to regain his health. The elevator which Mr. Clement sold to E. A. 
Rutherford was purchased by Mr. Clement from Mr. Conley. Mil ford 
Gray, another of the early merchants of Sheridan, moved to Alma and died 
there about 1895. Andrew A. Greenhoe, who was also in the mercantile 
business at Sheridan many years, died there in 1907. 

The present business people of Sheridan are as follow : R. E. Lower, 
J. G. Cutler Company and C. P. Leddick, general merchandise; A. E. Steb- 
bins, furniture and undertaking. Mr. Leddick is also the present postmaster; 
A. M. Stebbins, jewelry, cigars and tobacco; A. M. Russell, hardware; W. 
IT. Wood, druggist; A. E. Davis, groceries; S. E. Almack, groceries and 
notions; E. E. Thayer, confectionery; E. A. Rutherford, hotel, livery and 
elevator; T. C. Houghtaling, hotel; Genette Ford, millinery; Frank Sebring 
and Robert Harrigan, barbers; Sike Pitcher, pool room; F. M. Wycoff, 
produce; Eugene Rich and N. C. Caratensen, blacksmiths; R. A. Fuller, 
meats; J. C. Gallagher, motion picture show 7 ; George Edwards, coal, and 
E. E. Stoddard, editor and publisher of the Sheridan Advertiser. 

The Sheridan fire department, which is a volunteer organization, has 
an equipment consisting of a hose cart and ladders. The main streets are 
well kept and the sidewalks are made of cement. The village is electrically 
lighted. There are no industries of any great proportions in Sheridan, 
though Albert McGuire & Company have a salting station in the village. 

Practicing physicians at Sheridan include Drs. L. E. Bracey and W. E. 


Lee. Dr. Ed Perkins is a veterinary surgeon. Dr. R. H. Blaisdell and 
Dr. S. M. Gleason were two of the early physicians of the village, but both 
are now deceased. 

Wesley Stearns and Harmon \Y. Taylor have both filled county offices. 
The former resides near Sheridan on a farm. He served two terms as 
treasurer of Montcalm county. The latter served one term as county clerk. 
Ephraim Eollett, school teacher and lawyer, who came from Bellevue to 
Sheridan and who died at Sheridan a few years ago, at an advanced age. 
was a well-known and prominent citizen. 

The present officials of the village of Sheridan include Elmer E. Stod; 
dard, president of the village; Bert Crawford, clerk; Edward Greenhoe. 
treasurer, and Watson Courter, assessor. The trustees of the village are 
E. A. Rutherford, William Rassmussen, George Edwards, Ed Holmes, Zary 
Greenhoe and Hiram Taylor. A. E. Stebbins is the present postmaster. 


Eishville is a small hamlet located in the central part of section 14. At 
one time a saw-mill was located here, which was the beginning of a settle- 
ment in this place. A store was also kept for the convenience of the mill 
hands. The present store in Eishville is owned by Robert Evans, and as 
there is no other store in the township closer than Sheridan and Stanton, 
Mr. Evans carries on a good country trade. A huckster wagon is also run 
from Eishville over a scheduled route for the convenience of the country 



Fairplain was the second township established in Montcalm county and 
the initial step for the organization of this township was taken before the 
official organization of the county was made. The petition for the erection 
of this township was drawn in the fall of 1849 and presented to the Legisla- 
ture and it was properly acted upon and duly erected on March 28, 1850, 
and the first election was called on the first Monday in April, 1850. The 
meetings which were held for the steps towards organizing this township 
and selecting a suitable name present a rather humorous side and are here 
related by one of the early settlers: "The inhabitants of this territory met 
in the fall of 1849 f° r tnc purpose of selecting a name, preparatory to being • 
organized into a new township the following spring. As is usual in such 
meetings there was a multiplicity of names, and, as usual also, every one 
thought his name the most appropriate. A committee was appointed, how- 
ever, to draw up a petition, and signers to it were secured whereby the 
Legislature was prayed to set off town 9 north, range 7 west, as the 'Town- 
ship of Ringgold.' Jt was intended when the name was proposed to name 
it after Major Ringgold, whose bravery in the Mexican War was still fresh 
in the minds of the people. But the committee, intentionally or otherwise, 
omitted one 'g' in order to gain time. As a motion would then be necessary 
to change the name, at a subsequent meeting, this motion was passed, but 
the chairman of the committee, Nelson Cole, by the advice of several parties, 
among whom was John Hamiltom instead of inserting the missing letter, 
inserted the name Fairplain. The petition was forwarded, and in due time, 
to the astonishment of every one, and the chagrin of those petitioners who 
wanted the name of Ringgold, the township of Fairplain was erected." 

Fairplain is situated in the southern part of Montcalm county and is 
lxninded on the north by Sidney township, on the south by Ionia county, on 
the east by Bushnell township and on the west by Eureka. It originally 
consisted of timbered tracts on the northern, eastern and southern portion, 
while the plains, rendered almost circular by the general direction of Dick- 
inson creek, consist of the most fertile and productive oak openings. Since 


the timber has been removed this entire area has been turned into an agri- 
cultural community and the entire section of land rivals any in the county. 
These farms are among the fairest and most fertile tracts in the state. This 
is evinced by the high state of cultivation under which the farms are at 
present, the good public buildings and the comfortable homes. 

Dickinson creek is the only stream of any importance in this township. 
It enters the township from the west of section 6, and meandering east, 
south and west, leaves the township near the southwest corner. A small 
stream enters the township from Sidney and unites with Dickinson creek. 
These streams furnish excellent natural drainage for the township and also 
served the early pioneers in water power to run the early mills. 


Those who purchased from the general government lands situated in 
this township are shown in the following list. Many did not become settlers, 
others did, but remained only for a brief period, while among others are the 
names of some of the most respected citizens of the township at the present 

Section 1 — Chester Coates, Alanson R. Cornell, Levi Grainard, Spencer 
Skeels, Erastus P. Brown, Fdmond Hall. Section 2 — -Frastus P. Brown, 
Merritt Wade, Valancourt Northrup, Norman Hamilton, Daniel L. Welch, 
Emanuel Royer, David Ford, David M. Hickok, Peter Thompson. Section 
3 — E. Hall, John Snow, Clayburn Harris, George W. Gregory, R. Helton, 
David Balde, Lydia B. Taylor, Joel and William Hall, Frederick Hall, David 
Ford. Section 4 — Joseph C. Bailey, John W. Anderson, E. B. Burrington. 
John Porter, Osmond Tower, Henry F. Bray ton. Section 5 — Henry F. 
Brayton, Joel and William Hall, Thomas Seeley, Charles O. Reed, Daniel 
R. Hartwell, Myron Laverty, Daniel Tomlinson. Section 6 — John S. Will- 
son, Betsey Willson, James Grant, Charles O. Reed, R. Hilton, C. B. White, 
Wesley Smaggard. Section 7 — William M. Porter, George Loucks, Nor- 
man Hamilton, E. H. Sherwood, David Wilson, F. Rossman, Benoni Bent- 
ley, John S. Wilson. Section 8 — Myron Laverty, David R. Hartwell, Dewitt 
C. Chapin, David Morris, Francis K. Getter, James B. St. John, Miner Por- 
ter, James Porter. Section 9 — Mathias Smith, James Grant, Philo Town- 
send, Henry Holford, Henry M. Moore, Abel Avery, George Mathews, F. 
B. Peck. Section 10 — George Mathews, Asa Houghton, Osmond Tower, 
Frederick Hall, Enos T. Peck, Aaron A. Dudley, E. B. Barrington, Daniel 
Austin, David Balde. Section 11 — David Balde, Aaron M. Gaylord, Martin 


Follett, T. G. Amsden, Simon E. Allen, Abijah Noyes, Erastus P. Brown, 
Nathan Johnson, C. E. Shephard, William R. Bates, Isaac Throop. Sec- 
tion t 2— Chancey Beckwith, Aaron M. Gaylord, John Shilling, Thomas 
Patterson, Calvin Palmer, Thomas Cornell, Walter IT. Wright, David Balde, 
Hiram Hathaway. Section 13 — Chancey Beckwith, Aaron M. Gaylord, 
John Shilling, James Gould. John A. Rashbuck, David Balde, Henry H. 
Scoville, Moses M. Hull.. Alonzo Hubbell, John Shilling, Henry Hoi ford, 
Humphrey Holforcl, Charlotte M. Gould. Section 14— Abel Avery, Louis 
Smith, Isaac B. Cadwell, Alonzo Hubbell. David Balde, John W. Balde. 
Section T5 — Asa Houghton, E. B. Harrington, Frederick Hall, Orin Chapin, 
Caleb Huffin, Edward G. Decker, Freeman A. Decker, Zimri Moon, Henry 
Holford, Tyler M. Burley, El>enezer Salyer, Gerard Willson. Section 16 — 
Josiah Bradish, John N. Voorhies, John Lindell, David Barnes, W'illiam M. 
Shepard, N. J. Shepard, Mary Ann Rose, David Balde, Josiah Bradish. 
Section ij — John P. Knapp, Darius A. Wilmarth, Tra Porter, Christopher 
Cormis, Richard Porter. Section 18 — James Porter, Minor Porter, Tra 
Porter. Dewitt C. Chapin. Section 19— Daniel W. Tomlinson, William 
Kitts, Sarah Case, George W. Sherwood, Ira Porter. Section 20 — Ira Por- 
ter, Caleb Kniflin, Richard Porter, Sarah Case, Richard Tom, Adam Roof. 
Section 21 — Adam L. Roof, Samuel P. Youngman, Ebcnczer Salyer, Ira 
Porter, Luther R. Jenks, James Grant, Freeman A. Decker, Edward G. 
Decker. Section 22 — John F. Wyman, Caleb Kniffin, J. Willson, Marietta 
Clark, John Patrick. Section 23 — Erastus Brown, George Mathews, George 
W. Paul, Sylvanus Weed, Philo Beers, Joseph P. Powell, Miles Porter, 
Charles Chambers, Charles Bisby, Seth C. Barnes, John H. Child. Section 
24 — William P. Johnson, Edward Cheny, Edward Decker, William H. Hall. 
Thomas Patterson, Calvin Palmer, Thomas Brown, William F. Goff, Will- 
iam H. Leman, Stephen Brown. Section 25 — William H. Linfield, David 
J. Gleason, George B. Fuller. Daniel B. Hibbard, Thomas J. Blackwell, W. 
H. Rumsey, David Gristwood, Mathew Gore, Simon Gristwood, Moses Ben- 
nett. Section 26 — C. Shepard, D. Bald, Charles Chambers, Charles Bisby, 
John C. Ball, Joseph B. Powell, Hiram Clark, Aid Avery, Norman J. Shep- 
ard, Hiram Bristol, Sally Harrington, Clarence Gavitt. Section 27 — James 
J. Breese, Hiram Bristol. Ira Porter, Cyrus Lovell, Joseph P. Powell, Joseph 
C. Bailey, James Grant, George Mathews. Section 28 — James Grant, Gerard 
Willson, John F\ Wyman, Joseph C. Bailey, Samuel P. Youngman. Sec- 
tion 29 — Samuel P. Youngman, James Grant, Daniel W. Tomlinson, Charles 
Grant, Samuel Dowley, Sarah J. Noyes, Lewis E. Smith. Section 30 — 


Francis Crawford, William Kitts, Ira Porter. Section 31 — William Wells, 
Richard Dye. Frederick Hall, John Ahny, Thomas Cornell, Alexander N. 
Loomis, Ira Porter, William Meguiernon. Section 32 — O. Smith. VV. 
Tompkins. James M. Kidd, Ira Porter. Clarence Gavitt, Joseph C. Bailey, 
Charles A. Smith, Hostwich Leech, Jesse Leech, J. L. Fields. Section 33 — 
Charles Alehin. O. Smith, George Davis, Henry McGlockine, Ira Olds, 
George W. Paul. Section 34 — Samuel King. George VV. Paul, John P. 
Salver, Louis Smith. Norman G. Cornell, Abel Avery, William J. Face, Sally 
Harrington. Section 35 — David S. Jenks, John fvnowlton, Abel Avery, 
William Osterbaut, William M. Clark, Spencer Hewitt, Joseph P. Powell. 
Section 36 — Solomon Bacon, Samuel C. Alderman, Ora B. Stiles. Hawley 
White, Lucinda Schamhling. Rosalier Comstock, Joel Soule. 


In the month of April, 1844, Benjamin Hamilton, assisted by his son. 
John Hamilton, set out from Lyons with live yoke of oxen and three wagons, 
loaded with the families and household goods of William Hamilton (another 
son) and George Gibson, both married, the latter having a large family of 
children. Previous to this time they had visited the township, and it is not 
strange they were delighted with the beautiful plains which afterwards gave 
the township its name. A large tract of laud had been entered by Ira D. 
Porter, a lawyer in Ionia and connected with the land office in that place. 
To him they applied and purchased. Gibson buying the south half of the 
southeast quarter of section 18, and Hamilton taking the west half of the 
southwest quarter of section 17. These lands were bought on part payment, 
a bond being given for the balance to be paid in three years. 

After purchasing the land the two men raised the body of a log house 
near the southwest corner of Hamilton's land. Then they returned to Lyons. 
When the party before spoken of reached Kiddville. the road terminated, 
and from this place their journey was slow and wearisome. During the last 
day of their journey the rain poured down almost incessantly, and the entire 
party, drenched and uncomfortable, the men wading along through the mud 
and slush of April, the women and children shivering in the wagons, reached 
the body of the house before referred to in the middle of the afternoon. 
The house was without a roof, floor, door, window or fireplace, and the bare 
logs promised little shelter from the inclemency of the weather. It was a 
gloomy prospect for the whole party, and a cold and cheerless one for the 


women and children. But while some were engaged in taking the wagon 
boxes apart and placing the boards in one end of the cabin — if such it may 
be called — as a shelter for them, Mr. Hamilton succeeded in building a large 
fire in the middle of the cabin. He watched it all night, adding fuel when 
necessary. The next morning being clear, a team was dispatched to get 
a load of lumber, which had been brought to the township by a man who 
had purchased a part of the northwest quarter of section 19. This man had 
purchased this land intending to build a house, marry and bring his young 
wife to Fairplain. But being aware, it seems, of the uncertainty of matri- 
monial bonds, he concluded to marry first and build a house afterward. His 
misgivings seem to have been well founded, for his wife refused to become 
a pioneer. He therefore disposed of this lumber, which furnished means to 
partly cover the cabin of William Hamilton. 

The lumber to complete it was brought from Kidd's mill, which had 
been in operation but a short time. This was the first dwelling built by a 
settler in the township. The two families lived in the cabin and the men 
generally worked together. They cleared and broke up a small piece of 
ground for a garden, and later planted a small lot to corn. The garden 
yielded abundantly, but an early frost killed the corn, which was not yet 
mature, having been planted late in the season. The same summer ( T844) 
Silas Ward, who had entered the west half of the northwest quarter of sec- 
tion 21, came in and boarded with them while he prepared a considerable 
tract, which he sowed to wheat in the fall, but, not being fenced, was entirely 
destroyed the next spring by the deer, which sometimes in herds roamed 
over the plains. The land at this time sowed to wheat was later owned by 
X. Johnson, and his buildings stood where the first wheat grew in Fairplain 

In the spring of 1845. George Gibson built a cabin on his land and 
moved his family into it. This cabin was the second built in the township. 
Mr. Gibson died in T851. His wife subsequently moved to Lyons where 
she died. Hiram and Richard were the last members of the family living 
who came to this township with their parents. William Hamilton remained 
but three years, when he removed to Orleans, Ionia county. His brother, 
John Hamilton, who had been to the township several times since the event- 
ful night of the first settlement, came in the month of March, 1845, w i tn a 
wife and four children, intending to remain permanently. He occupied the 
same house with his brother. The Hamiltons subsequently sold their claim 
to this land to T. M. Burley, who came in 1846. The barn built was the 


first frame barn in the township. John Hamilton and his wife later lived 
on the south part of section 7, and were the oldest residents of the township, 
at the time of their death. 

The next settler was Jerry Hal ford, who, with his family, came in 1845, 
and settled on land later owned by J. P. Shoemaker, and described as the 
north half of the northwest quarter of section 15. Hal ford built a small 
cabin and improved the land around it. 


The same year Joseph Decker and his sons, Oliver and Freeman, who 
were married, and Edward and Jesse, single men, reached the township. 
They settled on the northeast quarter of section 21. Oliver and Freeman, 
with their families, occupied a house which stood near the house of P. 
Barnes, while the other family dwelt in a house near the site occupied by the 
house of Charles Barnes. In the month of June, 1846, a daughter, the wife 
of Samuel Johnson, who came with them, died, and was buried near the 
line between the father and sons and about forty rods from the road. Tt 
is believed her remains were afterward removed. This was the first death 
in Fairplain. Of this family, Oliver resided in Orleans, Ionia county, for 
a number of years. William Porter, who settled near the town line, and on 
section 7, whose brothers settled in Eureka, came in among the first in the 
western part of the township. A part of this land subsequently came into 
the possession of A. J. Russell, whose father, at a very early day, was con- 
nected with the building of the first mill in Greenville. He sold his interest 
in this, and then came to Fairplain and bought large tracts of land, but the 
family remained only a few years. 

From 1845 t° T &5 there was a continual inflow of people until the 
greater part of the fertile plains became permanently settled. Tyler M. 
Burley and his brother, Myron, came in in the spring of 1856, and purchased 
their interest in the quarter upon which they settled. Myron Burley mar- 
ried Alice Wilcox. This was one of the first weddings in Montcalm county. 
Mr. Burley went to California during the gold excitement of 1849 and died 
there. His widow subsequently married and lived in Grand Rapids. In the 
same spring Roswell Dudley came and settled, with his wife and family, on 
the south half of the southwest quarter of section 15. Of his three children 
none now remain in the township. 

The following summer Airs. Betsy Wilson, a widow with a large family 
of children, four of whom were boys, named respectively David, John, 


Thomas and William, came and entered the west half of the northwest 
quarter of section 8, while her son John and son-in-law, Myron Lavery, 
entered the south half of the southeast quarter of the same section which 
was later owned by James Griffith, who came in and settled in 1859. Mrs. 
Wilson remained until the spring of 1880, when she went to Red Cloud, 
Nebraska, with her sons. Caleb Kniffen also came into the township in 
1859 from Macomb county, Michigan, and settled on land later owned by 
John Rasmussen. Kniffen reared a large family of children. 

Tt is thought that Joel Saunders and William Weed also came that year. 
Saunders bought a half section, while Weed settled on section 7. After the 
death of his wife he moved with the remainder of his family to Ionia county. 
Conspicuous among the names of those who came the following year are 
Ebenezer Salver and George Lunn. The latter was from England. His 
voyage to this country in an old sailing craft which was condemned on its 
return to England as unseaworthy was fraught with dangers now unknown 
on the sea. The trip, owing to the contrary winds, lasted thirteen weeks. 
Lunn arrived in Detroit eighty-live years ago, in 1830. It was then a promis- 
ing village of a few hundred inhabitants. The streets were almost impass- 
able and the little log shanties of the French and Indians presented a sorry 
spectacle. Tie remained in Wayne county for a time, and subsequently in 
Macomb and Oakland counties, where he purchased a farm, and in course 
of time exchanged it with William Tann, who owned the south half of the 
southeast quarter of section 20. With his wife and family, Mr. Lunn reached 
Fairplain township on the 8th of June. 1847. Soon after, being an author- 
ized local preacher of the Methodist Episcopal church, he organized and 
conducted the services of the first religious society in the township, and was 
ever closely identified with its interests. 

Ebenezer Salver settled the east half of the southeast quarter of section 
21. It is believed that Thomas Seeley, who entered a tract of land, began 
during the summer of 1847 to erect the first saw -mill in the township. It 
occupied the site where the mill in the southeast part of section 5, on Dickin- 
son creek, later stood. But it was very different from it in its mechanical 
structure, machinery, etc. The saw was not circular but perpendicular, and 
sawed as if there was clanger of an oversupply of lumber. It had a capacity, 
if kept at its best, of three to four thousand feet per day. But it answered 
for a time every purpose, and furnished lumber for the cabins of the early 
settlers, which have long since become pleasant and prosperous homes. The 
mill subsequently passed into other hands and was destroyed by fire. 



As has been intimated, the settlement of Fairplain from 1846 was 
rapid. But many settlers came into the township, and after making slight 
improvements, removed, some from discouragements, but usually the finer 
portions of the township were entered by speculators, who sold them at an 
advance to settlers, taking almost their last dollar as first payment and allow- 
ing them three years in which to pay the balance. It was usually impossible 
to meet this payment, and, as a consequence, many lost not only what they 
had paid but also the improvements which they had been obliged to make 
in order to live, and then left the township poorer than when they entered 
it, while the speculators always profited bv these losses, as the lands reverted 
to them and they placed an additional per cent to the selling price. But the 
abundant crops which the fertile soil produced when fairly tested, the ease 
of clearing and tilling, were qualities soon appreciated, and men of means 
were soon attracted to make their home permanently within its limits. 

In 1846, John D. Fargo and his brother, James Fargo, who became a 
resident of Eureka, came to the township from New York, of which state 
they were natives. They purchased two hundred and forty acres of land 
from William Kitts, who had entered it but who was not a resident of the 
township. Flighty acres of this land was situated on section 30. The bal- 
ance, on the southwest quarter of section 13, was later occupied by L. H. 
Pratt, one of the earliest settlers in Montcalm county. 

John D. Fargo and his brother. Gibson S. Fargo, who arrived shortly 
after, built the first permanent school building in the township, which was 
known until it was destroyed as the "Red School house." Gibson S. Fargo 
died on December 28, T850. and was interred in the little cemetery on the 
west line of section 20. The ground comprised in this cemetery was given 
to the township in 1850 by Josiah Russell, an old settler in that vicinity. 
He was county judge and a native of New York, but his people were among 
the pioneers of Oakland county. The land upon which he settled and which 
he subsequently bought, was owned by George Loucks, from whom he pur- 
chased it. During the Civil War he enlisted and served three years in the 
First Regiment, Michigan Engineers and Mechanics. 

William Rasmussen, from New York, came to Fairplain on the 6th of 
June, 1849. He came to the log cabin of Mrs. Wilson with a wife and 
eight children, three of whom were boys, named William, Henry and John. 
Fie bought the west half of the northwest quarter of section 17, and also 



the east half of the northeast quarter of the same section. Mr. Rasmussen 
bought of John Knapp, who had intended to settle in Fairplain, but when 
he returned to New York his wife refused to move to "far-off Michigan." 
Knapp therefore, sold to Rasmussen. 

Tn 185 1, B. B. Crawford, a native of Livingston county. New York, 
arrived. Mr. Crawford became a settler of Macomb county, Michigan, in 
1834. When he settled in Fairplain he purchased two hundred acres of land 
from Dewitt C. Chapin. George Loucks, Rufus K. Moore, Fite Rosman, 
Richard C. Miller, Luther Jenks, Josiah Russell, Joel Hall, Mark Diffen. 
Josiah B radish and Orra P>. Stiles, were among the pioneers reaching the 
township during the years 1849 to T853. 

Rufus K. Moore and George Gibson built a saw-mill below Amsden, 
on Dickinson creek, at what was known as Podunk, about the year 1850. 
Richard C. Miller purchased the west half of the northwest quarter of sec- 
tion t8. He was treasurer of Fairplain from 1855 to 1865. He later 
resided in Greenville until his death. In 1855, Elijah Pierson settled upon 
the east half of the northeast quarter of section 27. O. Bradley was also a 
resident of Fairplain. He settled in Ionia county in 1850 and was at one 
time engaged in the lumber business, and purchased the McGinley mill 

James Griffith, one of Fairplain's good citizens, purchased the south 
half of the southeast quarter of section 6, which he highly improved. 


The following is a list of resident taxpayers of the township in 1850, 

according to the assessment roll : 
tions. Acres. 

Alanson Adams 5, 8 81 

Hiram Amsburg 15 80 

Josiah Bradish 15 40 

David C. Church 9 120 

Nelson Cole 9 40 

W. M. Clark 35 160 

Dewitt Chapin 8, 18 204 

Tyler M. Burkey 15, 17 120 

Myron Burley 15, 17 120 

Marquis T. Brower 8 3 

tions. Acres. 

Roswell Dudley 10 8c 

Edward Decker T5, 21 8c 

Oliver Decker 15, 21 8c 

Freemont Decker 21 4c 

John Fargo 19, 30, 31 286 

Daniel Fargo Personal 

John Hamilton 7 8c 

Joel Hall 8, 3 42 

William Hall 5 4 c 

Spencer Hewitt 35 9c 




David Jenks 35 

Luther Jenks 21, 22 

Caleb Kniffen 15, 20 

Austin Kinney 7 

W. V. Kendrick 4, 5, 8 

George Lunn 20, 28 

Gibson & Moore 23 

Rufus K. Moore 

George Gibson 

William Porter 7 

William Rossman 17 

Datus Russell 4 

Ebenezer Salyer 21, 28 

These lands were all situated in town 9 north, range 7 west, except one 
hundred sixty acres belonging to Joel Saunders, being the northeast quarter 
of section 13, town q north, range 8 west, now the town of Eureka. 










Myron Savery 5, 6 

Joel Saunders 13, 18 

Westley Swager 6 

Chancey E. Shepard 

3, 4, 10, 15 

Philo Townsend 9 

Nelson Towsley 8 

Edward Sherwood 7 

Abijah Peck 9 

Orin Phelps 5 

David Wilson 7 

William Weed 7 

Davis Wilmouth 17 






Fen wick, which is located in the northwestern part of section 25. in 
Fairplain township, and on the Pere Marquette railroad, was platted on May 
22, 1874, for Simon M. Griswold, Sarah and David Griswold, proprietors, 
by S. C. Aderman, surveyor. Eenwick began' its existence with the above 
mentioned railroad and has proved a good trading point for this section. 
The first reverse that Fenwick really suffered was in T903 when tire broke 
out which laid waste one-half of the town. Fenwick now has a population 
of a hundred persons. There are two churches, a lodge and a graded school 
located here. There are four stores, two of which are conducted by Robert 
Chapman and J. C. Thompson, who is also the postmaster. Walter Root 
conducts the hardware store. Fenwick, owing to its location, has become 
the largest village in the township. 


This settlement, located in the southeastern part of Fairplain did not 
commence until several years after the settlement on the west side of the 
river. It received its name from the many frail dwellings which during 


one summer, were erected here. It is now impossible to determine who was 
the first settler, as a number came in and remained but a short time and then 
removed. But it is probable that William M. Clark, who settled on section 
35, was the first. He sold a piece of the land upon which he settled to a 
Mr. Conkwright, who remained a few years. Welis Clark, who also came 
in early, sold a piece of land to Peace Robohen, who died some years after. 
Ora B. Stiles settled here at an early date. About the year 1850 a little 
cabin of tamarack poles was built on section 35, and several terms of school 
were conducted in it, but when or by whom is shrouded in the mist of for- 
getf ulness. This cabin was used until 1854 when it was replaced by a frame 
building. Hawley White, whose parents settled in Jackson county in 1835, 
entered the east half of the northeast quarter of section 36 in 1853. The 
next year he brought his wife and two children. Mrs. White died in 1863. 

The village of Amsden was not regularly laid out until 1867, although 
for many years previous to that time considerable business of various 
branches had been successfully carried on here. A saw-mill was first erected 
about the year T850. In 1859, J. P. Shoemaker and M. P. Follett built the 
grist-mill at this place. It was the first flouring-mill (outside of Green- 
ville) built in the county, and for a number of years gave Amsden a decided 
advantage over other prospective towns springing up in the vicinity. The 
settlers for many miles from the north came here to mill and to trade. This 
was the prosperous period in its history, and the principal part of the vil- 
lage was built at this time. When, however, the railroad was constructed 
from Ionia to Sheridan, and another to Greenville and to Gowen, the pros- 
pects of Amsden, like those of Langston, were considered much less promis- 
ing. Hie saw-mill of R. H. Roice & Company had a capacity of thirty 
thousand feet per day, while the shingle-mill in connection with it had a 
capacity of fifty thousand. 

J. P. Shoemaker, the founder of the village, was born in Herkimer 
county, New York. For over twenty years he had been a resident and 
identified with the business interests of the township, later being elected state 
senator of this district. 

Amsden was platted for J. P. Shoemaker and twelve others, by E. IT. 
Jones, surveyor. It is located in the central part of section 15. Amsden 
experienced an unchecked growth until the coming of the railroad which 
passed a mile to the east. With the coming of the Pere Marquette on the 


east side of the township, Fenwick sprang up and began to draw on Ams- 
den's resources. 

There was a mill located at Amsden with a store in connection, but as 
J^enwick grew, Amsden gradually went down until at present it only exists 
as a cluster of houses. There are no business interests in the village. 

Situated two miles to the north and west of Amsden is Millers Station. 
This is located on the Grand Trunk railroad and now consists of a depot, 
and one store, the latter being owned by Mr. Hansen. Miller has never 
been platted. 



Ferris township lies in the northeastern part of Montcalm county and 
is bounded on the north by Richland, on the east by Gratiot county, on the 
south by Crystal and on the west by Day township. It is described on the 
government survey as township 11 north, range 5 west. When first organ- 
ized into a separate township, Ferris contained townships 11 and 12 north, 
ranges 5 and 6 west, of the latter range only the east half was incorporated 
in this township. These were later detached and formed the separate town- 
ships of Day, Richland and Home, leaving Ferris with its' present limits. 

A petition was presented to the board of supervisors bearing the sig- 
natures of the following undersigned freeholders of Montcalm township : 
Philander A. Peck, Sylvester Fuller, Jackson Cato, Frank S. Peck, J. D. 
wSterns, Silas Brown, Harney Bigler, F. L. Smith, Daniel Gallop, Seth Smith, 
A. H. .Monroe, John Churchill, Samuel F. Burtch, Nilson Lee, Franklin 
Stiles, John T. Miller, Lucian Lewis, Fli Smith, N. B. Scott, Arch Conner, 
William G. Carpenter, M. Douglass, George Sherman, Christopher Hare 
and TT. Hubbell. These petitioners prayed that township 11 and 12 north, 
range 5 west, and the east half of town 11, 12 north, range 6 west, be set 
off from the township of Montcalm to be organized into a separate town- 
ship and to be known by the name of Ferris. It was further provided 
in this petition that the first annual township meeting l>e held at the house of 
N. B. Scott, and that N. B. Scott, M. Douglass and L. Lewis be appointed a 
board of inspectors at said meeting. 

This petition was duly considered by the board of supervisors and passed 
on January 5, 1857, thereby creating the new township of Ferris as prayed 
by the petitioners. The date set for the first meeting of the township for 
election of officers was held on April 6, 1857, at such place and with such 
inspectors as desired by the petitioners. 

The township of Ferris is divided into two nearly equal parts by a ridge 
or watershed, which in places is well defined, extending through the center 
of the township north and south, thus producing on either side distinct basins. 


1 62 



Section i— Money Rust, Peter Schlappc, Michael K. Strayer, Baron 
Blanchard. Section 2— Aloney Rust, David W. Rust, Ambrose L. Souk, 
Chester Baxter. Section 3— Ambrose L. Souk, Albert Washburn, Michael 
Riddle, Jr., John S. Ford, Stephen D. Frances, Josiah L. Zuver, Jacob 
Schoonover. Section 4— David Eschliman, George Reomjard, Samuel 
Corder, Rodolph Howry, William Miller, James Harrod, .Levi Harrod. Gil- 
bert L. Conlu. Section 5— William Miller, John Criso, P. R. Howe G. B. 
Jsham, Levi Harrod, John Criss, Daniel Abrey, Emma A. Ripley, Edmund 
Hall, C. W. Butler, K. W. Sparrow, William M. Murray. Section 6— H. 
R. Woodworth, Elias Hardy, Peter H. Watson, Phineas Smith. Section 7 
— Lawson Ferris, James R. Stall, Lucene Buck, Edward Tishue, E. L. Hill, 
Edmund Hall. Section 8— Benjamin F. Luther. Mary M. Ferris, James G. 
Garrison, Levi Harrod, William H. Osborn, A. A. Brock way. Section 9— 
Amasa Wilder, John Peinhard, David Eschliman, William Moor, Joseph 
M. Face. Section 10 — James Sanders, Arnasa Wilder, John Moyor, Samuel 
J. Bailey, John Russell, Samuel Donley, Isaac Bennett, Albert Ferris. Sec- 
tion 11 — Aloney Rust, Archibald Conner, Micajah Douglass, Arch Connor, 
Chester Baxter, George Shaw, Jacob Kuster. Section 12— Aloney Rust, 
David W. Rust, Peter Schlappi, Micajah Douglass. George Sherman, 
Ebenezer Sherman. Section 13— Louis Luther, Benjamin F. Luther, Mica- 
jah Douglass, Ekazer Johnson, Robert Southwell, Elijah Ferris, Thomas 
Crofford, Samuel Burtch, Micajah Douglass, Abel A. Brockwav, Welling- 
ton R. Rust. Section 14 — Elijah Ferris. Micajah Douglass, Ekazer John- 
son. Chester Bill, Peter Schlappi, George Shaw, John D. Snyder. Emanuel 
Hissary, John B. Strait, Franklin D. Norn's. Section 15— Hezekiah Hub- 
bell, Martin Chaffee. Garrett Coolbaugh, Isaac Tishue, Samuel J. Bailey, 
John A. Dorr, Albert Ferris, James S. Davis. Section 16— Andrew J. 
Tishue, Christopher Hare, William Crockford, Erastus Throop, William IT. 
II. Morehead, Solomon B. Knapp, Christopher Hare, Althea Smith. Sec- 
tion 17— Richard Dye, John Mauser, John Arntz. James G. Garrison, 
Nathaniel Smith, Charles K. Marsh, Dewitt C. Lewis, William Allen. Sec- 
tion 18— Charles B. Wilson. Franklin Stiles, Samuel Pine, Eli Smith, John 
Arntz, Charles B. Bangham, Benjamin F. Stiles, William H. H. Moorehead. 
Section 19— Charles B. Wilson, Erastus Yeomans, Lucian Lewis, John L. 
Miller. Section 20— Richard Dye, Erastus Yeomans, Elias Salisbury, 
Amos Classon, Peter IT. Watson, Nathaniel Smith, Lafayette Peters. Sec- 


tion 21 — Patrick Curry, John Berie, Elizabeth Warner, Andrew Burer, 
Peter II. Watson, Christopher A. Packard. Section 22 — Nathan B. Scott, 
James Scott, Robert Wool, Jr., Elizabeth Warner, John D. Snyder, John 
M. Kelvey. Section 23 — Aloney Rust, David W. Rust, Elijah Ferris, 
Chester Baxter, Samuel IT. Comstock. Daniel Strayer, Samuel Comstock, 
George Sherman. Section 24 — Aloney Rust, David Rust, Horace Lansing, 
Samuel Burtch. Section 25— G. S. Bill, Aloney Rust, Ezra Puller, Jacob 
Klees, George Stratton, Abel A. Brockway, Nickolos Klees, James Hicks. 
Section 26 — Aloney Rust, Ambrose Soule, John Raynur, John M. Reinhart. 
John G. Taubert, John Al. Kelvey. Section 27 — Thomas Byrne, John Ray- 
nur, Plezekiah Hubbell. Adam Gass, Thomas Burne, Thomas Crawford, 
Robert Southwell, John AIcKelvey, Grafton Reid. Section 28 — Francis F. 
Hawkins, William Toynton, Elias M. Heath, Abram Van Horn, John Rus- 
sell, Bradley A. Brown, George W. Sover, Benjamin Magoon, Joseph Tishue. 
Section 29 — John Smith. John AT. Watson, John Ruperd, Nelson T. Dun- 
shee, John AT. Hancock. Section 30 — Charles B. Wilson, Levi Carpenter, 
Israel E. Richardson, William ATadison, William Kelly. Section 31 — John 
Harrod. Israel E. Richardson, George Hancock, Cyrus D. Dunshee, Stephen 
W. Tompkins, Thomas Raymond. Charles Litch, Myron Austin, William E. 
Leitch. Section 32 — David Woner. Ephraim Trim, James Tissue, Egbert 
L. Heath, Adam A. Flint. Myron Austin. Jacob Lemasters, Isaac R. Packard, 
William Madison. Section 33 — Ambrose L. Soule, Limon Rice, Asahel 
Buck. Francis F. Hawkins, John Watts, Isaac Wandell, Adam A. Flint, 
ATyron Austin, Simon Rice, Myron Austin, William Davis. Section 34 — 
Ambrose L. Soule, Simon Rice. Dolphus Byrne. Thomas Byrne, Julius R. 
Comstock, Simon Rice, Nelson H. Johnson, Daniel Mc Arthur, Simon Rice, 
George G. Sherman. Section 35— David W. Rust, Harvey Westfall, Jesse 
Bodley. Ambrose Soule, Merritt Mint, Luke Flint. Section 36 — Aloney 
Rust, Ambrose L. Soule, Martin Ginther, Christopher Ginther, Henry Water- 
bury, Robert Hucker, Daniel A. Corkins, Samuel Burtch, Seth Robinson. 


Elijah Ferris was the first settler in town 11 north, range 5 west. He 
had formerly resided upon a farm in Geauga county, Ohio, and was very 
much inconvenienced for the want of water. For this reason, when he sent 
his representative to select land in Montcalm county in May 15, 1853, his 
express directions were that a running stream must be one of the favorable 
considerations. This may account for the peculiar selection of his land 


upon which he lived and died. In the fall of 1854, well equipped for the 
frontier', with a good team of horses, which soon after his arrival he 
exchanged for a yoke of oxen, with farming implements and household 
goods, he brought his wife, four sons and one daughter, to the township of 
Ferris. He entered, with several other tracts, the northeast quarter of the 
northeast quarter of section 23, on which he built a log house. This was 
the first residence of a- settler erected in the township. At this time the road 
known later as the Old Pine road was located, but was completed only a 
short distance above the lumber camp, which had already been located near 
the present site of Carson City. From this place to the land which he had 
entered, a distance of eight miles, Mr. Ferris, with the help of his sons, 
cleared a road. The distance was about eight miles in a bee-line, but his 
road winding as it did through the forests and around every conceivable 
obstacle, traversed at least a third of the distance farther. After the death 
of her husband, Mrs. Ferris returned to Ohio. 

Asa Buck was the second settler and came on August 11, T853. James 
Tishue was the third settler and located in Ferris, August T4, 1855. Archi- 
bald Connor, Robert Husker, Thomas and Rodolphus Burns, and Samuel T. 
Burch came in the winter of 1854-55. Burch and Husker were married 
men, the others were single. All became residents of the township for a 
longer or shorter period. The Burnses were natives of Ireland. Burch 
settled first on section 36, but subsequently cleared and lived upon a farm 
on section 24. He remained in the township until 1877, when with his 
family he moved to Idaho. He built a large part of the village of Crystal. 
Archibald Connor settled the north half of the southeast quarter of sec- 
tion 11. 

Robert Husker settled on the east half of the northeast quarter of sec- 
tion 36. Nathan B. Scott, a native of Berkshire county, Massachusetts, 
moved with his father to Washtenaw county in 1830, where he lived until 
he came to Ferris township in 1855 and entered the northwest quarter of 
section 22, paying seventy-five cents per acre. He built a temporary house 
to which he brought his family, which consisted of a wife and four child- 
dren. Mr. Scott made one of the first clearings, and planted some of the 
first crops in the township. He was drafted and served his time during the 
Civil War. Peter Schlappie built the first saw-mill in the township. It 
•stood on Schlappie creek, on section 12. Previous to this time the lumber 
used by the settlers had been brought from Ryder's mill in Evergreen town- 


Christopher Hare, from Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, moved to 
Sandusky county, Ohio, in 1835, whence he came to Michigan in 1843, and 
settled in Portland, Ionia county. From this place he came to Ferris and 
entered the southeast quarter of section 16, for which he paid four dollars 
per acre. In October, 1855, he brought his wife and nine children to the 
house previously built. He cleared the road from the cabin of Nathan 
Scott to this place. At the first town meeting Mr. Hare was elected clerk 
of the township, an office which he filled creditably many successive years. 
In t88o he was the nominee on the National ticket for the office of county 

William Carpenter also reached the township in 1855. His house was 
made on a novel plan. Two large oak trees which stood about twelve feet 
apart were felled so that they lay nearly parallel. Into the trunk of each 
a row of holes were bored, and into these posts high enough to make the 
walls of the house were driven. Split shakes were nailed over them, and 
the roof made of the same material, his house, with a large fireplace in 
one end, was ready for occupancy. At one time Mr. Carpenter killed a bear, 
and invited two young men named H. C. Ferris and William Boody to dine 
with him. One of the logs, which in the meantime had been hewn to as 
near a flat surface as could be conveniently done with an ax, served as a 
table. Upon this in due time the smoking ham of a young bear was placed 
and the guests who sat on the outside of the house regaled themselves 
through the window to their entire satisfaction. 

H. C. Ferris, the nephew of Elijah Ferris, came to the township with 
William Boody from Geauga county, Ohio. The latter, who was a splendid 
shot, came with only sport in view, and killed a great deal of game. He 
became poisoned while hunting in a swamp, and soon after left the town- 
ship. Ferris remained until the next May, and then returned to Eaton 
county, where he married Louisa Blodgett, and in about two years again 
returned to Ferris. 

Micajah Douglas came to Ferris in the fall of 1854, and entered four 
eighty-acre tracts in sections 11, 12. 13 and 14. He was born and reared 
in Monroe county, New York, and was not married until just before com- 
ing to the land which he had previously entered. He married Laura Sher- 
man. They moved into the township on the 22d of March, 1856. Mr, 
Douglas was elected justice at the first town meeting. His daughter, Lydia 
Jane Douglas, was the first white child born in Ferris. She married Thomas 
T. Blair, who was in the mercantile business in Elm Hall, Gratiot county. 


In the year of 1856, Jacob Klees, a native of Germany, came to Ferris. 
His family consisted of his wife, two sons and one daughter. He located 
on section 36. It is said that in an early day. when the family had walked 
to Matherton for the purpose of purchasing store goods and groceries, Mrs. 
Klees carried a barrel of flour to her home in Ferris. The tradition, no 
doubt, has not suffered from repetition ; the fact which gave rise to it being 
that after father and son had been loaded with the flour taken from the 
barrel, Mrs. Klees. feeling that it would supply a want when added to the 
scantv furniture of her cabin, took it with what flour remained upon her 
shoulder and carried it the entire distance. 

David Eschliman came to Ferris in T867. He was born in Lancaster 
county. Pennsylvania. His ancestors purchased one thousand seven hun- 
dred acres of land from William Penn, and his relatives, who l>ecame numer- 
ous, lived in that county. In 1834 his father moved to Stark county, Ohio. 


In June, 1856. David Buck and Phoebe Moore were married at the 
house of William Moore, who had come to the township in the spring of 
1855. This was the first wedding in the township. Daniel Strayer, a min- 
ister of the United Brethren church, officiated on this occasion. He was a 
resident of Elm Hall, and came on foot, with only a rifle for protection, to 
perform the ceremony. Mr. Strayer had occasionally preached in Ferris, 
.previous to the wedding, at the little cabin of Hezekiah Hubbell. who had 
settled just east of the center of the township in the fall of 1855. This 
cabin was so low that when the minister stood up his head would be between 
the poles which served as joists. Mr. Strayer died at Kim Hall in the fall 
of T864. Frank J. Scott was probably the second white person born in 
Ferris. The first orchard in the township was set out by Peter Schlappie. 
who brought trees from Ohio in 1855. He preached the first funeral ser- 
mon in Crystal township, and was a local minister of the United Brethren 
church. He settled on the northeast quarter of section 12, where he lived 
until his death. Elijah Ferris, the first white man to make his home in 
this township, was also the first to die and be buried here. He had the con- 
sumption when he came to Michigan but during the first year the change' 
seemed very beneficial, but in the spring after his arrival he died. John 
Maurer and Micajah Douglas made a rough coffin with boards taken from 
the loft of the cabin of Daniel Strayer, who at this time lived in the town- 
ship. The boards were nicely planed, and hot water was then poured upon 


the sides, by which means they were bent and then made into proper shape. 
It was then stained with a mixture of Venetian red and sweet milk. Mr. 
Ferris had desired to be buried on high ground, and as Nathan Scott had 
offered ground for a public cemetery, he was buried near where the residence 
of that gentleman stood. There was at that time no road, only a trail, 
through the swamp from the east to the west side. The remains were 
therefore placed upon a litter and carried by six men to the place prepared 
for them. 

Erastus Larnard o*>ened the first blacksmith shop in Ferris township at 
the center of the township. He remained several years, and his shop filled 
a want long felt. IT e subsequently purchased a farm which he supposed to 
be unincumbered, and paid for it in full. A number of years after, a mort- 
gage given by the former owner was foreclosed and he lost his entire 


Ferris or Ferris Center, is located in the center of the township of the 
same name. It was never platted and although it was once a postofrice for 
the convenience of the rural people, has lost this through the coming of the 
rural routes. Ferris began its existence in the early days and has always 
been the location of a school house and a town hall. At present there are 
two stores. Frank Hare is the proprietor of one of these. 

I r erris township is* rather unique in the fact that it has not a railroad 
and no town has ever been platted within its limits. Vestaburg draws the 
major percentage of the trade from this township. 



Home township is designated as town 12 north, range 6 west, and is 
situated in the northeastern part of the county. It is bounded on the north 
by Isabella county, on the east by Richland township, on the south by Day 
and on the west by Belvidere. This was the sixteenth township organized 
in the county. 

The petition for the erection of a new township to be called Home was 
presented to the board of supervisors on October 10, 1864, and contained the 
following signatures: Festus F. Goldsmith, R. Jackson, J. F. Beard, R. B. 
Nichols, L. Roach, J. \V. Ilaymond, H. N. Tupper, Thomas Forquor, Will- 
iam W. Woodard, George C. Roush, Abra Johns, F. A. Goldsmith, C. A. 
Packard, Egbert L. Heath, Calvin M. Woodard, Christopher Hare, Charles 
Stiles, N. B. Scott, David Bank, Isaac Pilnie, J. G. Garrison, Henry Crock- 
ford, Calvin O. Woodard, Andrew K. Zuner, David Shaffer, Samuel J. 
Bailey, W. B. Robbins, P. S. Garvin, John Brown, John Correll, George 
Flder, II. Rowland, J. Weirick. George Offiner and Joshua Fair. This 
petition was dated at Kerris, August 20. T864, and comprised the territory 
in town 12 north, range 6 west. 

The board of supervisors passed upon this petition and granted the 
prayer of the petitioners on October 12, 1864, and further ordered that the 
first election be held at the house of R. Jackson on the first Monday in April, 
1865. The control of this election was placed in the hands of R. Jackson, 
H. X. Tupper and William W. Woodard. 

The surface of Home township is generally undulating, rising gradu- 
ally towards the centre, where it forms a divide north and south between 
the Mat and Pine river systems. The streams are all small and of little 
importance, furnishing no water power in the township. 

The lakes are few in number and inconsiderable in extent. The soil 
is of that peculiar mixture of sand and clay which produces both the hard 
and soft varieties of wood. Pine, however, predominated in fully three- 
fourths of the township. A large proportion of these lands were held for 
lumbering purposes. More particularly was this the case in the northern 


part, where a few firms early purchased the more valuable tracts. Whit- 
man & Highland held two thousand one hundred acres in one body, and 
nine hundred and sixty acres in another. Stinchfield & Whitney held four- 
teen hundred and eighty acres, besides a number of smaller tracts. This 
part of the township, although an unbroken forest for many years, developed 
rapidly in both its lumbering and agricultural interests. As rapidly as it 
was stripped of its timber, venturesome and hardy pioneers built their cabins 
and started on the most laborious but surest way to wealth. 

The township has in general a productive soil, and the demand for all 
kinds of home produce was stimulated on account of its extensive lumber- 
ing interests; and the ready means of access to the markets of the East and 
South by means of its railroads, which form a junction at Edmore, rendered 
agriculture a lucrative employment, and to this source in no slight degree 
is the rapid development of this interest to be attributed. 


Section i — Ambrose L. Soule, Warren A. Sherwood. Section 2 — W r ar- 
ren A. Sherwood, F. T. Goldsmith. Section 3 — Eranklin Moore, Amy Gold- 
smith, Peter Parmenter. Section 5 — Levi Parkin, Michael Sullivan, Edmund 
Hall. Section 7 — James M. Hall, Ira H. Sheldon, John Gresefant, Genesae 
M. Brown, E. Hall, Solomon Lapaugh, Edmund Hall. Section 8 — Philander 
R. Howe, G. B. Isham, George Beardsley, M. Sullivan. Section 9 — Edmund 
Hall, Jacob YV. Stinchfield. Section 10 — Horace P. Dean, Alonzo Par- 
menter, John M. Parsens. Section 11— Jacob W. Stinchfield. Section 12 
— Ambrose L. Soule, Edwin B. Moore. Norman Shepard. Section 13 — 
Ambrose L. Soule, John D. Throop, Andrew Nisenger. Section 14 — 
Ambrose P. Soule, Moses Pixley, James M. Hall, Fayette Beardsley, James 
M. Hall, George A. Baker, Phineas Carter. Section 15 — James M. Hall, 
Oscar DeMott, William E. Rury, James M. Hall, James Alzer, Phineas 
Carter. Section t6 — Amos Bissell. James Lascomb, George Beardsley, 
Edson Packard. Section 17 — William W. Woodard, John N. Stock, P. R. 
Howe, G. P>. Isham, Albert P. Laverty. Section 18 — William L. Easton, 
lames M. Soverhill, James M. Hall, Andrew J. Cory. Section 19 — James 
M. Soverhill Stephen 1\ Page, James M. Soverhill, Chelsea Tupper, John 
Camp, Anthur R. Price, John Camp, David Vandersen. Section 20 — Stephen 
F. Page, Chelsea Tupper, Frederick Bishop, William W. Woodard, Albert 
L. Evans, Allen B. Morse, Nelson E. Latham, Philander R. Howe, G. B. 
Isham, William W. Woodard. Section 21 — John Peoples, Hugh Peoples, 


Sage Rice, Solomon P. Rapp, Leander Cook, Alden II. Wright, 'Leander 
Cook. Section 22 — Ambrose L. Soule, Thomas Forguer, James M. Hall, 
Willis Nelson, Malcom A. Dunning. Section 23 — Ambrose Soule, Paul 
Wilkins, Thaddeus Tibbs, Michael Pollasky, Edwin Finch. Section 24 — 
Edward Wells, Samuel Smith, Peter Wirick, Andrew Nisanger, Warren A. 
Sherwood, Solomon, Lapaugh, John McRae. . Section 25 — Samuel M. Leg- 
gett, John Correll, George T. Elder, Peter Wirick, Jesse Rhodes, Myron 
Howard, James K. Brown. Jesse B. Smock. Section 26 — Samuel M. Leg- 
gett, Festus T. (Goldsmith. John Brown, Lucias S. Garvin, William R. Jack- 
son, Correne C. Jackson. Section 27 — Nathan E. Nichols, Frederick A. 
Aenis, Festus A. Goldsmith, Joshua Fair, Charles D. Costerj. Section 28 — 
Jacob F. Beard, R. B. Nichols, William Armstrong, John W. Haymond, 
James Gilson. Section 29 — Chauneev Tupper, Henry N. Tupper, Mary J. 
Van Dusen, Henry N. Tupper, Spencer Beard, John W. Haumind, James 
Lowry, Samuel Muser, Jacob L. Overtz, Thomas N. Taylor. Section 30 — 
Jonathan Green, James M. Soverhill, Jonathan Green, Arthur R. Price. 
Section 31 — William Stevensen. Section 32 — George (). Roush, Abia 
Johns. Section 33 — Franklin Trip]), William M. B. Re^d, Martin Bent. 
Section 34 — James Woodard, Jeremiah Myers. Henry Cobb. Lucas S. Gar- 
vin, Martin Bent, Gilbert Wilson. William B. Chilce. Section 35 — Samuel 
S. Woodworth, Flenry R. W r oodworth, W. Robbins. Section 36 — Elias 
Hardy. Freeman Rice. 


Edward Wolbert, who settled in the extreme southwest corner of Home 
township, was probably the first man to build a cabin within its boundaries, 
aside from the hunters who now and then penetrated its solitudes and built 
temporary shelters. His cabin stood near the state road, and besides being 
a dwelling house it made in addition, some meager preparation for the 
accommodation of travelers on their way from Tonia to Millbrook. This 
route became, as soon as properly opened, one of the favorite roads of travel 
to the north. Mr. Wolbert's cabin was the last one for many miles, and the 
road, if such it may be called, stretched through miles of forest unbroken 
by a single clearing. The townships of Douglass, Day, Belvidere and Rich- 
land also were comparatively unbroken wilderness at this time. Mr. 
Wolbert remained here but a short time, when, with his family — a wife and 
one child — he moved to the South. 

About the year 1862 a party of ten, consisting of John Peoples and his 


family, and Hugh Peoples, an unmarried brother, came to the cabin of 
Edward Wolbert. The men had been here previously and entered land, and 
while preparing temporary shelters left their families here a few days. John 
Peoples entered the southwest quarter of section 21. upon which the railroad 
station at Edmore and much of this village is now situated. Frederick 
Bishop settled on the adjoining quarter west, on section 20. Hugh Peoples 
entered the adjoining quarter east. They all built cabins and commenced 
clearing lands. The struggles with want and privation which followed 
were long and severe. The nearest mill was Amsden, to which place those 
settlers who had no teams were obliged to carry their grain on their backs. 
Stanton was then a flourishing village of three houses. One was a small 
court house, another Roosa's log hotel, and the other a dwelling house built 
by Levi Camburn. .After making some improvements, Bishop exchanged 
his farm for one near Charlotte. 

One of the first marriages in Home township was that of Hugh Peoples 
to Maria Wysick. whose parents were among the pioneers in the east part 
of the township. The first, white child born in Home was Anna Peoples, 
daughter of John Peoples, born on January 15, 1863. The first death was 
that of a Mrs. Rapp. She was buried on the west side of the road, and just 
outside the present limits of the cemetery at Edmore, where her remains 
still rest. 

The following are names of old settlers of Home: E. A. Goldsmith, 
R. B. Xichols. who settled on the east half of the southeast quarter of section 
28: James C. Gillson, W. W. Woodard, Oliver Aiken, Z. Rice, William 
Stevenson, who occupied the farm entered by Edward Wolbert; Thomas 
Eorguer, Oscar D. Moot. Andrew Neiswanger, John Carroll, Thaddeus 
Tibbels. Edwin Wells, Jeremiah Myers, William S. Eaton and Paul Wilkins. 

Xo school was taught in Home until the spring of 1865, when the 
people in the south part of the township met and organized a school district, 
and built a small log house on the southeast part of section 28, and employed 
Orlando Evans as teacher. He was a nephew of Josiah Fair, with whom 
he resided at the time. 

The next summer a site for another school house w r as selected one and 
one-half miles east of the first. A house was erected, in which a school was 
opened by Mrs. James Brown, whose husband taught at the same time in the 
cabin before referred to. The first frame school house was built on the east 
line of section 30, in district No. 3. 

In 1866 a postoffice was established at the house of Thomas Forgner, 
who was appointed postmaster. The office was known as New Home -post- 


office. Previous to this time the nearest office was at the village of Stanton. 
Doctor Jackson was the first physician to come to Home. He settled in the 
south part of the township, on section 26, where he remained several years, 
and then removed to the West. He subsequently, however, returned to 
Home, where he died. The next physician was Doctor White, who entered 
a piece of land, but, like his predecessor, remained a short time and then 
went west. 

The following- extract, taken from one of the town books, needs no 
explanation: "The town board met at the clerk's office on July 5, 1872. 
Full board present. The meeting being called on account of the clerk's 
office heing burned on the morning of the 2d of July, 1872, the board pro- 
ceeded to examine the books saved and found the following: book of regis- 
tration, the accounts with the township treasurer, the financial accounts and 
school record, records of the commissioners of highways and board of 
health." The records of election were not saved and the town clerk's office 
contains no connection or definite record of the officers of the township 
before this time. 


Edmore is situated principally upon the south half of the southwest 
quarter of section 2T, and the north half of the northwest quarter of section 
28. The original plat, however, contained but one hundred and twenty 
acres, several additions having been made from time to time. The name is 
derived from Edwin B. Moore— the name of its founder — -who platted it, 
and on the 28th of April, 1878. caused the survey to be made. 

The first lot was sold to William Cronkite, who at once erected a small 
building and opened a shoe shop, for although few improvements had Ixen 
made in this vicinity, the completion of the railroads the fall previous, form- 
ing a junction at this place, had marked it as an important business center 
for the future. There were also several families, who had settled here a 
number of years before, and who had made some slight improvements in 
agriculture. One of these, that of James Gillson, settled here in 1865. He 
was a native of Scotland, whence he came to America in 1828. He served 
in the Union army in the Civil War, and for disabilities received was 
awarded a pension. He built the first hotel in the village of Edmore, soon 
after the village was platted. On Ma}' 28. 1878, E. W. Kitchen purchased a 
lot. built a house, and opened a general stock of dry goods, boots, shoes, 
groceries, etc. These were the first business places in the village. 

About this time a portable saw-mill was secured, and the lumber for 


building purposes, which heretofore had been brought from a distance, was 
now manufactured from the timber taken from the site of the village. After 
the manufacture of lumber began in Edinore its growth was exceedingly 
rapid. Few villages in central Michigan will compare with it in this respect. 
In the winter of 187S-79 the village, having a sufficient population, was incor- 
porated, and the first election under the charter was held on March 8, 1879, 
at which time the following persons were elected to the several village offices : 
President. K. B. Moore; trustees, R. S. Robson, H. G. Johnson, C. S. 
Knight, C. W. Stafford, E. S. Wagar, 11". Austin; clerk, F. M. Burbank; 
treasurer, O. S. Tower; street commissioner, H. J. Chainey; assessor, A. M. 
Wolaver. The following is a list of officers for 1880: President, E. B. 
Moore; trustees, PL G. Johnson, C. W. Stafford, A. V. Rowlison; clerk, 
E. VV. Harrison; treasurer, H. C. Umbenhaur; street commissioner, J. K. 
Train; assessor, A. M. Wolaver. 

During the month of September, 1880, the Chicago, Saginaw & Canada 
railroad shipped 225,491 pounds of freight, the freightage upon which was 
$173.19. The number of pounds received aggregated 5,207,544 and the 
charges collected were $1,642. The receipts for the telegraph department 
were $55.04. 

The report of the Detroit, Lansing; & Northern railroad for the same 
month is as follows : Total freight shipped from this station, 8,506,597 
pounds; charges, $5,804.14. Freight received, 1,098,928 pounds, upon 
which charges were collected to the amount of $2,190.95. The tickets sold 
over this route amounted to $1,036. 

Edmore came out of that period which followed the exhaustion of the 
pine timber in the county better, or rather as good, as any other town in 
the county. This was due partly to the fact of its location. It is truly 
located in one of the rich farming communities of the county. The scope of 
territory and rich resources which it draws from gives it the life which it 
has at present. Edinore and the people can truly be proud of such a busy, 
hustling village. Although other towns in the county may present larger 
buildings and longer business blocks, but few can surpass it in the amount 
of produce received and shipped during a year. It is the trading center for 
the north and eastern part of the county and the shipping point of the entire 

Edmore has suffered two fires, which, if it were possible to wipe out, 
would leave it with business blocks doing credit to the volume of business 
done in the town. In the year 1901 one entire block on the south side of 
Main street was destroyed by fire. The loss was placed at $25,000, but it 


carried with it another pang, for one life was claimed by the flames. This 
was a small girl who, being trapped, was unable to receive assistance and 
perished. In this (ire the town hall, bank building, and several other busi- 
ness houses were entirely consumed. 

The second fire was just beside the first, on the north side of Main 
street. This disastrous lire wiped out almost the entire block. Three stores 
and two smaller buildings were destroyed before the flames could be checked, 
entailing a loss of $20,000. The Moorehead block was erected in 1885. and 
it is one of the largest business blocks of Edmore. At present Edmore has 
a population of eight hundred. 

A township and village hall was erected in T902, at a cost of $6,000. 
In this town hall the council rooms, jail and postoffice are located; also the 
tire department, which is a volunteer company of chief and six men and 
hook and ladder and hose-cart equipment. The water-works is a municipal 
plant, which was installed in the year 1880, and is fully equipped in every 
respect. The electric light plant is a private business, owned by J. H. Gibbs 
&• Companv. The business interests of the town consist of the L. Barber 
Creamerv Companv. This creamery is second in capacity in the county. 
The volume of business of this creamery amounts to approximately one-half 
million dollars per year. The W. R. Roach Canning Company is also one 
of the important industries of the town. .Approximately $85,000 was paid 
out by this company to the help and to farmers during the year. 

Edmore has a potato and stock market. Tt has no equal in the county, 
and greater tonnage of business is shipped from Edmore than any other 
town with the exception probably of Greenville, which ranks ahead of 
Edmore in the potato market alone. The merchants and business men of 
lulmore receive their patronage from the entire northeast and south of the 
countv. There are two elevators in Edmore, owned by J. H. Gibbson & 
Son and J. L. Thomas. E. E. Curtis is one of the largest bean and potato 
buyers in this county. Everybody and everything in this village is a live 
wire of the town. It is growing faster than any other in Montcalm county, 
and will only be a matter of a short time until it ranks among the first in 
every respect. The present officials are: Harry E. Wagar, president; Fred 
E. Curtis, clerk; James W. Swift, treasurer; Hugh McKay, assessor. 

There are two hamlets in Home township which deserve mention. The 
first of these is Wyman, which is a little station on the Pere Marquette rail- 
road. This hamlet has had a precarious existence and has failed to reach 
much size. There is one store at present and a little cluster of houses. 


Wyman, although so small, has possessed two names in its life; it formerly 
was known as Averyville. The other hamlet of this township is known as 
Cedar Lake, from the body of water of that name. Cedar Lake is a small 
resort and could hardly be classed as a village. It is the location of the 
Advent College. There are at present some dozen houses. 



The first petition for the erection of the township of Maple Valley 
was dated on Decmeher 5, 1863, and contained the names of the following 
resident freeholders of the township of Winfield : E. R. Glenwood, Daniel 

E. Knight, Allen Maeomber, Isaac Gileo, C. C. Johnson, Moses Swarthout, 
Francis Strang, H. S. Barton, Nicholas Whitesel, Seth Beal, James S. Smith, 
Albert D. Rust, Charles H. Blanding, who were residents of town 12 north, 
range 9 west, and John Cody. Cornelius Sulivan, James Ferguson, D. S. 
Appleby, Wiliain Maile, E. Foote, Jacob Ferguson, Charles Parker, Patrick 
Gahan, Patrick Cain, William Cody and Lewis J. Moses. This petition was 
to have been presented to the board of supervisors at their regular session 
on January 6, 1864. The notices were duly posted, but whether it was not 
presented to the board or they rejected it at that time is not known. But it 
is safe to say that it was presented, as it is found among their earlv docu- 
ments and in all probability they failed to act on it at this meeting-, for 
another petition with the same request was presented at the next meeting. 
The latter petition was signed by the following: Lewis J. Moos, Charles 
Parker, Jacob Ferguson, James Ferguson, Peter Kain. Patrick Gahan, Pat- 
rick Lynch, Charles Blanding, William Cody, James Cody, Edward F. Foot, 
James Appleby, Albert D. Rust, Alfred Rust, E. R. Ellenwood and Seth 
Beal. This petition was dated on February 17, 1864, and is the one acted 
upon by the board of supervisors. The supervisors acted upon this petition 
on February 17, 1864, and ordered that the new township be duly organized 
and called Maple Valley. The first election was held at the house of Edward 

F. Foote, on the first Monday in April, 1864, and Lewis j. Moos, Jacob 
Ferguson and Charles Parker acted as judges of the election. The territory 
organized into the new township consisted of town 11 north, range 9 west. 


Section 1— James Lively, Jason Westaves, J. B. Barr. Section 2— A. 
F. and H. J. Orton, Jeremiah Ryan, George P. Demoray, J. B. Barr, Sam- 
uel S. Holcomb. Section 3— Jeremiah Ryan, D. A. Wilson, Peter Johnson, 


Leroy R- Stiles. Section 4 — Allen Wright, Philander Griswold, Moses 
Warner. Section 5 — Peter Sanborn, Charles Parker. Section 6 — Adriapa 
Miller, William Male, Martin Ryerson, Rob W. Morris, P. Johnson, Jun- 
ius Ryerson. Section 7— William Beckct, James Ferguson, Rowland Soule, 
Patrick Gahan, limey J. Blanding, Jacob Ferguson. Section 8 — Alexander 
IT. Blanding, Patrick Lynch, Cornelius Sullivan, Isabella Parker, Charles 
Parker, Enoch Farl, Edward Foote. Section 9 — Charles P, Wilson. Sec- 
tion 10— Jeremiah Ryan, A. J. and H. J. Orton, William Cody, Hiram 
Prouty, R. L. Buchanning, A. S. Price. Section 11 — Allen Wright, Heber 
Cowden, Abel T. Cowden, Charles Cowden. Section 12— Charles W T . House, 
Parnelia House, Harvey E. Price. S. Rockefellow, Jason Westave, J. B. 
Burr. Section 13 — Harrison Morgan, George Macomber, Louis S. Sovell. 
Section 14 — Harrison Morgan, George Macomber, Peleg Soule, Michael 
Donahue, Mary Keefer, Fmmanuel Fralick. Section 15 — Allen Wright, 
Jeremiah Ryan, Jeremiah Donahue. John Sullivan, William Cody, William 
Sheehan, Dennis Cody, Patrick Cody. Section 16 — James House, Llowland 
Soule, Hugh McGuire, David R. Morrical, John Cody, Peter Johnson, Henry 
Purdy, Charles Farle. Section 17 — William R. Foote, Emery J. Blanding, 
Ashael J. Root, James Lively, Charles Parker. Section t<8— Charles H. 
Blending, Lewis J. Moore, Ashu Parks. William Watts, Charles J. Church, 
John W. Denton, Elias R. Ferguson, Ansel Adams, R. S. Halcolm, J. W. 
Denton. Section 19 — John Loree, Nelson Marble. Thomas Almy, John B. 
Fletcher, Lewis Moore. Cambyses F. Hinchman. Section 20 — George 
Macomber, Elizabeth Richardson, William C. Tngraham, James B. Surram, 
Enoch Earle. A. Sylvester Tngraham, Alvin Davis, J. D. Lirnan. Section 
21 — Emery Trufant, Daniel J. Reed, Soammi Cowdin, Anson Bellamy, 
Marvin Saxton. Section 22 — George Macomber, Emery Trufant. Marvin 
Saxton, Seymour Ilamond, William Fitzgerald, Patrick Gahan, James 
House, Owen W. Garrett, William Duffey, George N. Morgan. Section 23 
— Henry M. Cowkins, Emery Trufant. Harrison Morgan, George Macom- 
ber, Emery Trufant. Section 24 — George Macomber. Section 25— George 
Souke, Leonidas Scranton. Emery Trufant, George Macmober. Section 26 
— Henry M. Cawkins, Emory Trufant. Section 27— Emory Trufant, George 
Macomber, Peleg Soule. Loren Curtis, James Turner. Section 28 — George 
Macomber, William Almy. Russel N. Wright, T. Stevenson. Section 29 — 
George Macomber, Martin Mason. Section 30 — Richard Williams, Mal- 
vina P. Fletcher, Cambvses E. Hinchman, Cyrus Plinchman, Philo B. Tngra- 


ham, William Brownlee, James Calkins, Robert Taylor, William H. Banks, 
Jr. Section 31 — John Btittolph, Michael VVhitan, Philo B. Ingraham, Ben- 
jamin W. Ingraham, Dudley M. Ingraham, Simon Whelan, Edgar L. Grey. 
Section 33 — George Macomber, John Buttolph, William Herriff, Daniel 
Flick, Henry Shatto, Jesse Blake, John B. Fletcher, Samuel Marble. Section 
33 — George Macomber, Samuel W. Gibbs. Section 34 — Emory Trufant, 
George Macomber, Hugh Maguire, David B. Morrical. Section 35 — Emory 
Trufant. Section 36 — George Souks, Emory Trufant, George Macomber, 
Emory Trufant. 


The permanent settlemetn of Maple Valley township began in 1858, 
when Heber Cowden, with his family, settled on the northwest fractional 
quarter of section 11. He was a native of Washington county, New York, 
whence he came direct to Jackson county, Michigan, in 1835, where he con- 
tinued "to reside until 1858. On coming to Maple Valley he built a cabin 
and began a clearing, and continued to reside on this land until his death, in 
1862. His death was the first in the township. Mr. Cowden was a well, 
hearty man, but one day, coming into the house from his work, complained 
of feeling ill, and in live minutes he died of heart disease. The funeral took 
place at his .cabin. He was buried on his own land, near the lake, in a beau- 
tiful spot. 

Michael Whalen came to the township about the same time. He entered 
the southwest quarter of section 31 and the west half of the southeast quar- 
ter of the same section. Soon after his brother, Simon, came in. 

In June, 1858, E. J. Blanding, of Livingston county, New York, and 
his father-in-law, Howland Soules, of Vergennes, Kent county, came to 
Maple Valley, which was then a part of Pierson. The latter selected sev- 
eral tracts of land, but did not become a resident. Two of his sons, James 
P. and Benjamin Soules, subsequently settled in the township, but at the 
time they entered their land several settlements had already been made. 

James and Jacob Ferguson. John, James. William and Patrick Cody 
and Patrick Lynch all settled in the township previous to 1858, and all 
became permanent residents. James Ferguson settled on section 18, his 
brother, Jacob, on section 7, the Cody brothers, who were direct from Ire- 
land, on section 15. Patrick Lynch settled on section 8. His daughter, 
Mary, who was born in the summer of 1861, was the first white child born 
in the township. In the fall of i860 E. J. Blanding came in and settled on 


land which he had entered two years previous. The lumber of which the 
floor of his cabin was made was. hauled from Denmark, seventeen miles dis- 
tant. In 1863 Mr. Blanding enlisted and served in the Tenth Michigan 
Cavalry as sergeant, and was subsequently promoted to lieutenant. In the 
meantime several other families had reached the township. 

Daniel Appleby settled with his family on section 7, and Peter Wood 
located just beside him. This covers the first settlers in this township, and 
after this period the settlement was made rapidly and the land was taken up 
by permanent settlers, who have made this their home and been the chief 
factors in placing Maple Valley township in the front ranks of the town- 
ships of Montcalm county. 

Maple Valley township has three general natural drainage systems. 
That of the northeast, of the southwest and the southeast. Muscalonge lake 
is the reservoir for the latter system, but the two former ones are merely 
small streams. The Pere Marquette railroad runs diagonally through the 
county from the northwest to the southeast and furnishes an excellent means 
of transporting the products which are raised in the township, to foreign 

Maple Valley township has three villages within its limits. All of these 
are located on the Pere Marquette, with Coral and Trufant, which are the 
largest, occupying positions in the opposite corners of the township, and 
Maple Vallev, which is merely a small hamlet, occupying a position between 
the two. 


In the fall of 1861 Charles Parker came to the township and settled on 
section 7. lie bought also the west half of the northwest quarter of section 
() from Charles Wilson, who settled in Pierson. Mr. Parker bought this 
eighty acres for the pine which grew upon it, intending to float it down 
Tamarack creek, and in pursuance of this plan, he put a considerable num- 
ber of logs in the river. But the mill company of Howard City, considering 
this an imposition on them, brought suit against the lumber company for 
damages, and the practice or rafting logs was prohibited. Hence, when the 
saw-mill of Morris and Henry Stump was completed, Mr. Parker com- 
menced the manufacture of lumber. When the Detroit, Lansing & Northern 
railroad was completed through here he laid out the village, which he called 
Coral. Wilson had cleared about an acre of land and built a log cabin. 
This was the first house in this vicinity, and was built when the country 


was a wilderness. The next was a log house built by Parker for his men 
while he was engaged in taking out logs. This mill, which had a capacity of 
twenty thousand feet per day, was the beginning of the business interests of 
the little village. Tt was burned, however, in 1874. 

Clayton Wood soon after bought a lot, built a small house and opened a 
light stock of goods. This was the first store in the township. But he soon 
failed in business and turned his attention to farming, but subsequently 
removed to Dakota. The development of the village from this time was 
rapid. James Parks came from Indiana and opened a blacksmith shop. 
Frankinberger opened the next store. 

The saw-mill and dryer built by J. Potter Hart in 1872 had a capacity 
of forty thousand feet per day. It continued in full operation, turning out 
an immense quantity of lumber and employing from forty to sixty men, 
until the pine was exhausted and the mill removed, in 1880. A flouring 
custom-mill was built by George Highlander. It had one run of stones for 
feed and one for flour. Charles Parker, its founder, remained in the town- 
ship until 1880, when he removed, with his family, to Oregon. 

Situated, as it is, on the banks of Spruce lake, which is only a small 
body of water, Coral has grown and proved a very nice location for a village. 
Jt has passed from a timber camp to a very busy little village with a popula- 
tion of approximately four hundred. It has never been incorporated and 
its government is connected with that of the township. 


Trufant village was laid out on land entered from the government by 
Mr. Trufant, who built a saw-mill here in 1872, which was the first run by 
water in the township. He sold out to J. B. Hileman and Jacob Hesser, 
who built a steam saw-mill on the site of the old one. They later added a 
shingle- and planing-mill, and employed eighty men. They averaged forty 
thousand feet of lumber and forty thousand shingles per day. The firm of 
Hileman & Hesser laid out the village in the year 1874, and named it after 
Mr. Trufant, the first settler of this land, who moved to Mount Clemens 
and there died. The first building erected was a boarding house built by 
this firm and run by Samuel Barr. In 1872 T. H. Stimpson put up a build- 
ing for a hotel. He was a member of the United Brethren church and sub- 
sequently went to preaching. The first store was opened by Herrick Fox. 
He built a small house and opened a light stock of goods, but did not remain 


long in the business. Fhilip Wilson opened a- stock of goods in 1873, and 
remained in business but four years. Frank Seymour started in the mer- 
cantile business in Trufant in 1875 and closed out in 1880. George H. 
Cowin opened a stock of drugs in 1877. Dr. J. T. Joslyn was the first 
physician to locate in Trufant. Tie remained but a year, and then returned 
to Guernsey. He was succeeded by Doctor Hammond. The death of -Elmer 
Howey, in 1872, was the first in the village 

Trufant was first laid out, March 10, 1875, and three years later the 
town had grown until an addition was laid. This was done on March 31, 
1879. Trufant is a village of about four hundred inhabitants and is sit- 
uated oti the northwest side of Muscalonge lake. This is the largest body 
of water in Maple Valley township, Cowden lake .alone rivalling it. Trufant, 
like Coral, is a very busy little town. Both are good markets for potatoes, 
stock and grain. Elevators are located at both towns, and these do a good 
business. Both towns are supported by the trade which comes from the 
farmers, as there is no natural resource to give life to the town. 


This hamlet was situated principally on land owned by William Fitz- 
gerald, in section 15. He sold eighty acres to R. Kearney, who laid out the 
village in 1872. The saw-mill was built by Babcock & Ferguson in 1870. 
Soon after the village was laid out. Doctor Slawson, who was also the first 
postmaster, built a store and opened a stock of goods. He remained in busi- 
ness some years. A hotel was built by Horace Sturtevant. The town of 
Maple Valley has entirely ceased to exist as a village, only a cluster of houses 
marking the place where it was laid out. 


Stalham W. LaDu was born in Fishkill, Dutchess county, New York, 
February 28, 1823, and died at Coral. Michigan, October 3, 1910. He was 
the son of Jacob and Hannah LaDu, who were old-fashioned Methodists, 
his father having been for many years a class leader. His parents were 
descendants of French Huguenots, who escaped to America from the mas- 
sacre of St. Bartholomew and were of the party who afterward settled on 
the Hudson river. He was converted when about seventeen years of age, 
and early felt the call to preach the gospel. Severe sickness for several years 
prevented him from engaging in the work until, on his knees by his bedside, 


he promised God that if He would give him strength he would leave all and 
obey His call. He picked up such education as he could in the common 
schools, spent part of the winter of 1842 with a minister in reading and 
study, and later entered Red Creek Union Academy, where he spent two 
years pursuing such studies as would be best calculated to help him in the 
work of the ministry. 

In his twenty-second year, being out of funds, Mr. LaDu, with a young 
associate, went to Canada, where he secured a position as teacher in the 
county of Northumberland. Soon after opening the school he commenced 
preaching in the school house, with the result that several were converted 
and the community stirred. He followed the same course in other localities 
in Canada, with like results. Having united with the Canadian Methodist 
Episcopal church, he, at last, after a long struggle, decided that God wanted 
him to preach the gospel in Canada and he resolved to do so even though it 
might mean poverty and hardship. At this time he was married to Clarissa 
N. Gaffield and she willingly consented to share his lot and work, knowing 
fully what it would mean. 

Stalham W. LeDu joined the Bay Quinte conference in September. 
1845, an d was appointed to the Colbourne circuit as junior preacher. While 
on this circuit he had gracious revivals with splendid success. In 1848 he 
was elected agent for the book concern, in which office he traveled through 
the connection. The next year he was appointed as pastor at Colburg. I Ie 
remained here "preaching with fair success" until he was prostrated with 
nervous trouble and was obliged to leave the work. This was when he was 
but twenty-eight years of age. After a rest he partially recovered and was 
appointed presiding elder of Colbourne district. In addition to the district 
work he also had charge of the church at Belleville. While engaged in that 
work he was again prostrated. 

For three years Reverend LaDu was engaged in business at Brighton, 
after which he again went into the work and served several charges, on each 
of which he had gracious revivals until about 1861, when he was again 
made presiding elder of the Colbourne district, this time serving four years. 
From that work he went to the Detroit conference and spent three success- 
ful years in the Take Superior district at Hancock and Calumet. He had 
revivals and built the first church building at Hancock and organized the 
first society at Calumet. At the completion of the work at Hancock he 
planned to go farther west, but while attending the Canadian general con- 
ference was prevailed upon by his former associates to return to them. He 


again entered the itinerary in Canada, laboring for three years, when his 
health failed entirely and physicians assured him that he would never be 
able to take up the work again. lie was greatly disappointed, but accepted 
the inevitable, and seeing an opening in 1874, came to Coral, where he spent 
the remainder of his long and useful life. 

While in Canada, Stalham W. LaDu was a man of commanding power 
and influence in the church. He was one of the founders of Albert Univer- 
sity and was a member of the board of managers. He was a delegate to 
every general conference while he was engaged in active ministry and was 
once elected fraternal delegate to the general conference of the United States. 
On coming to Coral he made his life a part of the life of the village. He 
entered the business life of the village by operating a lumber mill; he took 
an active and leading part in the religious life of the village and county 
through his association with the Methodist church. 

Reverend LaDu was often referred to as the pioneer temperance worker 
of the county, having inaugurated and led in the war against the liquor 
traffic that first made Montcalm county dry by local option. He was twice 
honored by election as a member of the House of Representatives in the 
Michigan Legislature, where he served with such conspicuous ability that he 
was considered a leader. He was a fighter for the temperance cause while 
in the Legislature and fathered some of the temperance legislation under 
which the tsate is now working. 

Stalham W. LaDu was prominent as a candidate for governor of Michi- 
gan and held the balance of power in the Republican state convention that 
nominated Russell A. Alger for governor. Governor Alger later appointed 
the subject of this article state oil inspector. Mr. LaDu was one of Gover- 
nor Pingree's advisors and had a part in the nomination and election of that 
gentleman as chief executive of the state. During the Pingree administra- 
tion Mr. LaDu was a deputy oil inspector and on the death of Probate Judge 
Fenn, Governor Pingree wanted to appoint Mr. LaDu probate judge of the 
county. He was a meml>er of the hardware firm of LaDu & Baldwin, 
which did an extensive business in Coral for many years. 



Montcalm township bears the distinction of being the pioneer township 
of Montcalm county. It was established before the county even took on a 
civil existence and five years before the second township was established. It 
was officially organized on March 19, 1845, an( l to °k ni tne entire territory 
of the county, as then formed, except townships 9 and 10 north, range 5 
west, which later formed the township of Bloomer. Montcalm township 
was organized by an act of the state Legislature, and although the act which 
organized Montcalm county was passed at a later date it did not affect the 
earlier organization of this township. The first town meeting was held at 
the house of Anson Ensign, April 7, 1845. The minutes of this meeting 
give the business accomplished in detail and are given verbatim: "A record 
of the proceedings of the first town meeting, holden in the house of Anson 
Ensign, in said town. Stephen Warren was chosen moderator; George 
Gibson, Josiah Russell, Ethan Satterlee and Rosecrans K. Divine were sev- 
erally chosen inspectors of said meeting, between the hours of nine and ten 
o'clock in the forenoon. And after being duly sworn, the said Josiah Rus- 
sell and Rosecrans K. Divine were duly chosen clerks of said meeting, and 
the polls of said election were duly opened, and the result was as follows, 
to wit. the whole number of votes polled for any one office was thirty-six." 

At this election the following persons were duly elected : Supervisor, 
Frederick Worclen; clerk, Josiah Russell; treasurer, Rosecrans K. Divine; 
justices. George Gibson, Stephen II. Warren, John Green and Elihu Eortner; 
assesors, Samuel I). Barr and Ethan Satterlee; commissioners of highways. 
Westbrook Divine, Edward Petty and Lyman H. Pratt; school inspectors. 
II. N. Stinson, Josiah Bradish and Ananias Worclen: directors of the poor, 
Volney Belding and Josiah Bradish; constables, Henry S. Hal ford, Jona- 
than Gould, Lorenzo Whitney and Lyman H. Pratt. 

Montcalm originally contained some fourteen congressional townships, 
but as the other and later townships were formed its boundary was grad- 
ually reduced until its present boundaries were reached and it contained but 
one congressional township. It lies in the second tier of townships from the 
south and borders on Kent county on the west. It is bounded as follows: 


Pine township on the north, Sidney on the east, Eureka on the south and 
Kent county on the west, and it is designated in the government survey as 
township 10 north, range 8 west. 

ihere are several lakes of considerable size in this township and many 
smaller ones, most of which are drained by small tributaries of Flat river. 
This stream, which enters the township on section 4, after a very tortuous 
and meandering course, ilowing through sections 4, 9, 16, 17, 18, 19, 30, 31, 
2)2, enters Eureka from the southwest quarter of section 33. This river 
furnishes excellent natural drainage for the farms in this section. The steep 
and precipitous banks along its course and the rapid fall of its current also 
furnish excellent water-power, which has been utilized to good advantage. 
Elat river has had an enviable career, for in the days of the early 
clearing it bore its countless millions of logs to the mills in the older settled 
districts. It is rather remarkable to note that in a single year, exclusive of 
the logs manufactured into lumber at the mills in Montcalm, Pine and other 
townships, one hundred and fifty- four million feet passed through the chute 
at the little village of Govven to the mills below. Hundreds of men, horses 
and cattle were necessary to subserve this interest. But this natural resource 
was soon to be exhausted and that period of stagnation in business which 
inevitably follows the exhaustion of natural resources that have for a long 
period furnished constant and profitable employment to large bodies of men, 
was soon felt. The lumber interests in Montcalm, like those of other locali- 
ties, were pushed to the limit and soon the lumber camps ceased to exist and 
in their place large fields of stumps of these giants of the forests were the 
only markers of this once thriving industry. Then the interests and pur- 
suits of the inhabitants who had determined to make this their future home 
must needs be turned along other lines of business. The soil in this section 
was found to be the best. It was a sandy loam and agricultural pursuits 
soon began to claim the attention of the settlers. The pine timber has all 
been obliterated and only the stumps of these pioneers of the forest remain, 
and they are utilized for fencing, and in their places fields of grain or 
potatoes show the versatility of the early settler. Thus when lumbering 
ceased to be profitable the settlers took up the 'more stable business of farm- 
ing and have made even more progress than had been at first hoped. 


Among those who purchased from the general government lands situated 
in this township were the following: 


Section i — J. B. Barr, Jacob A. Davis, Thadcus A. Laurence, Henry 
M. Caukins. Section 2 — Richard M. Patrick, Jacob A. Davis, David R. 
Hart, William Burt, George Rossman, T. A. Laurence, Henry M. Caukins. 
Section 3 — George Rossman, Richard Patrick, Benjamin Joy, Marshall 
Stark. Section 4 — David Carpenter, James Davis, Joseph Fellshaw, Sam- 
uel B. 1'cck, C. Crane, D. F. Clark, Samuel Peck, C. A. Worden, C. P. 
Morse. Section 5 — George Loucks, Jacob Davis, C. Crane, Samuel B. Peck, 
Benjamin Joy. Section 6 — Jacob A. Davis, John Clark, C. Crane, Claudius 
B. Nichols. Section 7 — George Loucks, Eliphalet Gregory, Greenville O. 
Holmes, Levi B. Gregory. Section 8 — Warren S. Felt, Charles Seymour. 
Section 9 — Joseph Fellshaw, Allen Thompson, Robert H. Smith, William 
Degulice, Solomon Elyah, A. Godfrey, James Davis, Charles Seymour, 
Henry M. Moore. Section 10- — Fite Rossman, George Rossman, Plirarn 
Rossman, Enos T. Peck, Samuel B. Peck, Jacob Chapman, Charles E. Van- 
derburg, William Atwill, 'lhomas N. Stevens. Section 11 — Benjamin Osborn, 
James Brown, George Rossman, Thadeus Laurence, Samuel B. Peck, John 
G. Morgan, Henry Osman. Section 12 — Thadeus A. Laurence, John W. 
Kent, Harmonius Brower, Edward H. Jones, D. Towsley, Philip Leech, 
Peter Brown, George Bower. Section 13 — Hiram Rossman, Leonard Ross- 
man, Michael McCabe, Joseph B. Murphy, Christian Sodtman, E. II. Jones, 
D. Towsley, Martin Sebalt, C. Sedtman. Section 14 — Abel Hawley, Ebe- 
nezer Balcom, James F. Brown, James Felton, Hiram Rossman, John G. 
Morgan, James R. Brown, John Devier. Section 15 — Enos T. Peck, Rebecca 
Pierson, James Felton, H. Rossman, Samuel B. Peck, J. A. Peck, S. Kent. 
Section 16 — Chapin and Booth, C). Loomis, Anson Bellamy, John Temp, H. 
M. Fuller, George W. Bellamy, Joseph Burgess, John Breitzmer, George 
Fiek, C. Vogle. Section ij — Abel French, Henry Moore, Charles Seymour, 
Whitney Jones, Robert Smith, William Degalia, Ezra Jones, Wilson Morier, 
F. W. Worden, II. M. Fuller. H. A. Smith. Section 18— Ilorton Wilcox, 
George Loucks, E. Gregory, Samuel Gregory, Whitney Jones, William Kitts, 
Allen Thompson, John Shaw, Frederick W. Worden. Section 19 — Legrand 
Cannon, Daniel Jones, John Alma, Ira Porter, J. B. Dickinson, Martin 
Shearer. Section 20 — Samuel H. Combs, John Miller, Ira Porter, Alfred 
B. Miller, John Ball, E. Ransom, Leander Cole, Charles Seymour. Section 
21 — W. and W. C. Ransom, Leander Cole, Charles Seymour. Section 22 — 
Elias Small, James Grant, Enos T. Peck, Robert Burdick, William Cook. 
Robert Burdick, Jr. Section 23 — Caleb Cooper, Joseph Whitbeck, James 
Grant, William Toby. Section 24 — Josiah Todd, Edward Straley, Hiram 
Rossman, Sidney Todd, William McCrudy, Michael McCabe, Eliza Will- 


iams, Martha Rossman, Garrett J. Van Allen, Edward H. Jones, William H. 
Johnson. William Sanderson. Section 25 — Enos Wetherell, Nathan High, 
George Rossman, Henry Osmon, Charles Cross, Stephen Cupp, Potter Kel- 
ley, A. F. Fuller, Obadiah E. Fuller. Section 26 — Michael Gordon, Enos 
Wetherell, John Kent, Harvey Allen, William H. Ellsworth. Section 27 — 
Joseph I). Stearnes, Isaac Miller, Richard W. Wells, Dennis Arnold, John 
Churchill. Section 28 — Charles Seymour, Whitney Jones, William Degalia, 
George M. Pierson. Section 29 — Alfred L. Driggs. Section 30 — Luther 
Lincoln, Ira Porter, John Almy, J. L. Morse, V. Belding, Legrand Cannon, 
Edmund Bostwick, Philo Beers, Ira Porter, J. L. B. Kerr, A. L. Briggs. 
Section 31 — William W. Baker, J. F. Smith, Andrew P. Crowell, Hilton 
and White, Winslow Dodge, Henry Hilton, Richard Hilton, Ira Porter, 
Edwin A. Hayden, Louis Merrirield, John D. Wilson. Section 32 — John D. 
Wilson. Jacob W. Petty, Chauncey Cole, John Ball, John Green, Jerome 
Pease, Abel Avery, William Degalia, Francis Potter, Samuel Demorest. 
Section 33 — Samuel Hamilton, Whitney Jones, Ransom E. Wood, N. E. 
Horton, Martin Shearer, Samuel B. Peck, Jacob W. Petty, Henry M. Moore. 
Section 34 — Jacob W. Petty, Sarah Vanderhoof, John Churchill, Lewis E. 
Smith, Chauncey B. Miner, Abram Mann, William Harris. Section 35 — 
Levi J. Allen, Lewis Buck, David K. Goodman, George Rossman, Fite Ross- 
man, Barney Bigler, Thomas H. Hartwell. Section 36 — Charles Hubbs, 
Jacob Rebman, John G. Reker, Henry B. Tipp, Squire M. Newberry. 


Luther Lincoln, who entered the land at the junction of Black creek 
and Flat river, was the first settler in Montcalm township, and one of the 
first in the county. His entry at that time comprised the northwest quarter 
of section 30, upon which, near the junction referred to, he built the first 
cabin in the township, and with a son he continued to reside there and in that 
vicinity many years. He is said to have been peculiar and eccentric in many 
particulars, but, upon the whole, a man of many estimable qualities. During 
the first years of his stay he cleared a small piece of land and raised several 
crops before any other settler entered the township. Some years later he 
dammed the river and built a small mill with an upright saw; this was in 
section 30. It employed two men, who, beside Mr. Lincoln and his son, 
were probably the only ones in the township. This property passed into 
other hands before his death. His mind for several years before this event 


is regarded as having been clouded, and it is to this fact that his business 
reverses and disasters are attributed. His son, who subsequently removed 
to Kent county, was killed by lightning. 

In 1844 L. II. Pratt and his brother-in-law, S. D. Barr, bought an 
interest in the mill property of J. L. Morse and one Belden, who had pre- 
viously been taken into partnership by Luther Lincoln. The wife of S. D. 
Barr, a sister of L. H. Pratt, was the first resident white woman in Mont- 
calm township. Her daughter, Sarah Dett Barr, was the first white child 
born in the township. 

Jt was about the year 1845 tliat an incident occurred which shows the 
strong reverence of the Indian for his ancient customs and superstitions. In 
the spring of that year the band known as the Blacksmith family, being a 
branch of the Ottawa tribe, went, as had been their custom, to the North 
for the purpose of making maple sugar. While engaged in this avocation 
one of their number, a woman, was taken suddenly ill and died. The band 
set out at once to return to deposit the corpse in the cemetery of their fore- 
fathers, located near Greenville. In the northern part of Montcalm county 

probably in the region of Six lakes— they obtained a canoe, and by means 

of it descended the river as far as Lincoln's mill, known then as Barr's mill. 
Here they desired L. II. Pratt to take his team and wagon and convey the 
corpse to its destination, manifesting- a great anxiety that the ceremony of 
burial should take place just as the sun reached the meridian. The horses 
were soon attached, and the eorpse, wrapped in a cloak, placed in the center 
of the wagon box, while the mourners arranged themselves on either side. 

The rough corduroy roads seemed to forbid rapid travel, and through 
respect for the dead, Mr. Pratt curbed his team to a moderate pace. But the 
Indians, watching the sun. as the hour of noon gradually drew on, mani- 
fested every symptom of impatience, and finally urged the driver to drive 
more rapidly. To their infinite relief the horses took a swifter pace, the 
corpse bounded from side to side, and they retained their places with diffi- 
culty. It is probable they had never been in a wagon before, and their glee 
was unbounded. Upon reaching the burial place they dug a shallow grave, 
and, with a spoon, knife and bowl, as an introduction of a faithful squaw 
to the happy land, they interred the corpse. This tribe subsequently moved 
to the North. 

S. D. Barr was later a resident of. Belvidere township, while L. H. 
Pratt, who was one of the first postmasters in Montcalm county, moved to 
Pairplain township. 


On June k;, 1844, Frederick W. Worden entered the south half of the 
southeast quarter of section 18. upon which the village of Gowen is situated. 
Tt has been asserted that Lieutenant Worden, of the United States navy, 
and celebrated as the commander of the ''Monitor" during its action with 
the rebel ram "Merrimac,'' was born here. This, however, is not authentic, 
although he lived here when a child with his parents for several years. The 
house built by Mr. Worden as a dwelling for his family stood across the 
road from where the brick hotel built by James Gowen stood. On August 
26. 1844, Mr.. Worden sold an interest in the water privilege to Volney and 
Thomas Belding, and the company immediately erected a saw-mill. 


About the year 1844 Anson Ensign came in and purchased the water 
privilege on the northwest quarter of section 30, at which place he built a 
dam and saw-mill and gave employment to a considerable force of men. In 
a small house built near this mill and owned by him the first township meet- 
ing in the county was held, in the spring of 1845. This m ^ subsequently 
passed into the possession of D. Underhill, and later was owned by Henry 
Watson, who moved into the township in 1857, and worked in it for one 
dollar per day. 

Tn 1843 John D. Wilson, a native of Huddersfield, England, came to 
Michigan, and in 1844 to Montcalm, and entered land in the south part of 
sections 31 and 32. lie cleared the brush from thirty acres, which he plowed 
during the summer. He was unmarried and boarded in Eureka while doing 
this work. This was the first improvement made in the township, aside 
from that made by Luther Lincoln. Mr. Wilson subsequently disposed of 
his land and started for Australia, since which time nothing definite has 
been heard of him. 

In 1845 his brother, Joe Wilson, with his wife and three children, 
moved to Ionia county and settled in Otisco, where he lived until the winter 
of 1846-47, when he entered eighty acres of land on section 6, in Eureka 
township, and built a cabin, into which he moved soon afterward. In 1846 
he sowed to wheat a part of the tract in Montcalm broken up by his brother 
two years previously. It was the first piece of any considerable extent sown 
in the township. Having secured eighty acres of his brother's land, he took 
down the cabin which he had built and removed it to this land, where he 
again set it up. It was the first house, aside from those at the mills, and its 
occupant was the first in the township to engage exclusively in agricultural 


pursuits. lie traded his land in Lureka for eighty acres on section 34, 
owned by John W. Petty, built a house upon it, and resided there two years. 

in 1848 his son, William Fountain Wilson, died and was buried beside 
his sister in Otisco township. This was probably the first death in the town- 
ship, as Sarah, the youngest child of John Wolverton, whose death is usually 
considered the first, did not die until some weeks afterward. She was, 
however, the first interred in the township, the cemetery being situated on 
the east line of her father's farm, and directly south of the quarter post. It 
became a public burial place, and was the first in the township. 

About the year 1848 John Wolverton settled on the southwest quarter 
of section 31, having at the same time entered land adjoining Eureka town- 
ship, upon which he built: his barn. This section of Afontcalm previous to 
that time was known as Lincoln's Plains, but from that time to the present 
has been called Wolverton (Mains. His family consisted of a wife and six- 
children. Mr. Wolverton died many years since, and his widow, who 
became the wife of John Smith, died at an advanced age. 

John TTocroft and Joseph Brown were the next to reach the township. 
They settled on section 32, built cabins and made some other improvements, 
but. selling out soon afterward, they moved away. 


In 1849 Jacob Carr, who had entered land on section ^^, came to reside 
permanently in the township. At this time, being single, he boarded with 
Joe Wilson while making some improvements on his land. Among other 
things he cleared an acre of ground and sowed it to wheat for a deer bait, 
and upon which he succeeded in killing many deer. Air. Carr subsequently 
married a Miss Lamderton, of Oakland count}-. At his death he was one 
of the oldest settlers in the township. During the first, years of his stay he 
was in the. lumber business. 

Joseph I). Stearns, the next to reach the township, also a single man, 
boarded with Mr. Wilson, as did Jacob Carr, while improving his farm, 
which comprised the southwest quarter of section 27. Mr. Stearns was also 
verv extensively engaged in lumbering, having owned several mills in various 

Levi J. Allen, Harris Goodman, Louis Ruch and John Churchill are 
among the pioneers in the south part of the township. Churchill settled on 
the west half of the northeast quarter of section 34, Allen on the west half 
of the northwest quarter of section 35. Ruch on the south half of the north- 


cast quarter of the same section. The)' were all very prominent in the affairs 
of the county and township for a number of years. 

Among- the earliest settlers in the central part of the township was 
Robert Burdick, who had been a soldier of 1812, and who, with a govern- 
ment land warrant, entered the northwest quarter of section 22, where he 
built a good log house and where he lived until his death. His family, sev- 
eral children of whom were married and lived in Xew York, came a few 
years after his arrival. 

In 1855 James Brown, with his sons, J. I\. and Silas, and four (laugh- 
ters, two of whom were married, as were also his two sons, reached the 
township. The two remaining daughters were married to William and Rob- 
ert Burdick, Jr. The latter later resided on land entered by his father, wdiile 
William occupied land entered by his father-in-law. James Brown. Another 
son-in-law. James Toby, entered the northwest quarter of section 23. 

Michael McCabe was the next to penetrate the wilderness in the north- 
east part of the township. Mis family at that time consisted of a wife and 
three children. .Michael AlcCabe died in 1875. 

At (he time these settlements were made there was no clearing to the 
north in this township, james Brown cleared a road from the state road 
to his place in 1855, there being at that no settlement between him and the 
mill at J.angston. A road was soon afterward completed to the saw-mill 
started by James Powers in the school section north of the lake. This mill 
was subsequently burned and was never rebuilt. 

These families lived here a number of years before any other settle- 
ments were made in the northeast part of the township. This localitv,' being- 
covered with pine, offered many obstacles to rapid development, and there 
were some tracts held for lumbering purposes at a very late period, but they 
are all gone at present. Section 23, however, received two families about 
this time. Sylvester Jackson and Austin Barrett, neither of whom remained 
long. Barrett went into the army and was reported killed. T. Underwood 
purchased the south half of the northeast quarter of section 22 from joe 
Wilson, who was acting as agent for Joseph Mott, of Schuyler county, Xew 

William A. Brown was among the first to settle in the north part of 
Montcalm. Tie entered the north half of the northwest quarter of section 
14. and made the first improvements in this part of the township. He 
removed, but afterwards returned with his brothers, George P., Tames S. 
and Alexander, all of whom became permanent settlers and made the princi- 
pal improvements on their respective farms. 


In 1850 J(.)hn Wolverton and Joe Wilson, assisted by other settlers in 
the vicinity, built, a little board school house on Mr. Wolverton's farm, and 
hired Harriet. White, of Kent, county, to teach. She died in her youth. 
This was the first school taught in the township. The next, school house 
was built on section 34, and resembled the former in its construction. 

Ri'.sinr.xTs or 1851. 

The resident taxpayers of the township in 1851. the sections upon 
which their lands were situated, and the number of acres owned by each 
were (according to the assessment roll of that year) indicated in the follow- 
ing list : 

Sections. Acre-. Sections. Acres. 

Samuel Parr jo. yj Joseph Stearns 2~ 160 

I'.urrington iK: Rockwood John Wolverton 31 80 427 Jacob Wise 31 160 

\. L. Priggs ... 2<). 30 (k)4 Joseph Wilson _.. 34 80 

F. !:». Purrington ..>(> 40 John Wilson ---34 J 60 

I'eers t\ Fnsign it), 30 213 (.'hauncey lb Miner 34 40 

French <\ Moore .. . 30 205 Lewis Ruch 35 80 

Jacob W. Petty 30,31,32 153 David K. Goodman 35 160 


Among the earb residents in the western part of Montcalm was Will- 
iam Potter, who, in the \ ear 1817, opened a small stock of dry-goods and 
groceries at Worden's Mills. This was probably the first store in the town- 
ship, and from that time to the present this locality has been a business 
center for the immediate vicinity. 

For nearly twenty years Mr. Potter resided in this place and continued 
in the mercantile business. He subsequently removed to Greenville, where 
he engaged in the lumber trade. He later became a resident of Lowell. 
Soon after locating at Worden's Mill. Mr. Potter engaged Jane Wilcox to 
teach school in a shanty pertaining to the mills. Miss Wilcox later became 
the wife of Kzra Pement, and lived in Orleans. 

There were at that time no persons engaged in agriculture in this sec- 
tion of the township. The first minister who preached in this section was 
Reverend Allen, who for some time visited the mill regularlv every two 
weeks and conducted religious services. The mill »had in the meantime 


passed through 'many different hands, but had been little changed. In 1870 
James (.'award built an addition to it, which was the first improvement made 
on it for many years. The same year Henry Smith and J. M. Fuller opened 
a store in a building previously built by James Caward for a repair shop. 

Alexander Hewitt succeeded them in about a year, in 1871 the Detroit, 
Lansing & Northern railway was completed through the township, and 
James Goweu. having purchased the mill property from the Flat River Boon 
Company, platted the village which bears his name. The first train that 
passed over the road after its completion brought brick for the large hotel 
at this village. It was the first brick hotel in the county, and with its furni- 
ture cost fifteen thousand dollars. 

lames (iowen, who may properly be considered the founder of the 
village, was born in Lancaster count}-, Pennsylvania. Previous to his set- 
tlement in Montcalm he had been engaged principally in taking contracts on 
large public improvements, among which were the tunnel under the lake at 
Chicago and several other similar works at Cincinnati and in the Fast. 

Gowen first bore the name of Gregor's Mill, and later this was dropped 
for Kay wood. Just why this latter name was given or with what if orig- 
inated is not known to the writer. The name Gowen was given the village 
at the time of its platting on November 17, 1871. Tt was named in honor of 
its senior proprietor. Col. James Gowen. Henry M. Fuller was a partner 
in the platting and laying out of this town, which was done by F. H. Jones, 

This village, although the only one in Montcalm township, has never 
attained the size and proportion which was hoped for by the original pro- 
prietors. Gowen is a convenient business center for the farmers of this 
township. The business houses cater especially to this class of trade and 
the life of the town is maintained through these efforts. 




Pierson was the eleventh township funned in the county and is situated 
in the northwestern -part, in that section which originally, when the county 
was 1 irst organized, consisted of townships 11 and u north, ranges 9 and 
10 west. This territory later was divided and formed the townships of 
Reynolds, Winlieid and Maple Valley, thus reducing I'ierson to its present 
limits. Tierson was officially organized on February 17. 1857, hut the orig- 
inal petition for the erection of this township has been misplaced and the 
names of the original signers cannot he given. It is also noteworthy that 
there is no record made on the minutes of the hoard of supervisors tor the 
erection of this township. The last minutes tor this board are dated on 
January 7, T857, and the next meeting is dated October 11, 1858, thus 
skipping the meeting which organized this township. As reduced to its pres- 
ent limits it is bounded on the north by Reynolds, on the east by Maple 
Vallev, on the south by Kent county and on the west by Xewaygo county. 
It was named after the family name of Martin Pierson. as several members 
of that family were its first settlers. The best farming lands in this town- 
ship are situated in the southern and northeastern part. In the eastern part 
is a low and wet portion of land, covering the greater part of ;t number of 
sections and extending northwest towards Wood lake, which is situated in 
section 15. This lower land is usually known as Hear swam]), and takes its 
name, presumably, from a large bear which had its retreat there and is 
supposed to have escaped the hunters for a number of years- but this is 
more or less traditional. The western part of the township contains a 
svstem of lakes which are drained by a branch of the Tamarack river. 


Section 1 — Peter Sanborn. Warren VVellman. Section 2 — Amos Rice, 
Fmanuel Fralick, Rufus Real. John Field. Section 3 — Amos Rice. Sec- 
tion 4 — Peter R. Howe, Fdward Harvey. Section 5 — Flias Alley. Sec- 
tion 6 — John Moore, William H. Frving. Ira Carpenter. William Hillman. 


Flias Andrews, William Rogers. Ebcnezer Simons. Willis Turner, Benja- 
min Carpenter. Section 7--- Benjamin Ensley. Section 8~ Andrew Har- 
])ending'. Alvah Trowbridge. James Bradshaw. Daniel Shook, Peter J. Van 
Rensekom. Section 9 — Orin T. Rice, Flias Alley. Section io — Levi Stru- 
ble, Orin Rice, Flias Alley. Kendrick Rice, Otis Wilson, William Bader. 
Section ti — John Ross. Salisbury Xegus. Ananias Worden, J. S. Ferguson. 
Section 12 — Warren Wellman, Jeremiah M. Field. William Warren. Edwin 
S. Parish, Seth Meal, Alexander Watts, Johnson B. Reese. James Hart, S. 
Hellousfield. Section 13 Robert C. Fletcher, Flias R. Ferguson, Thomas 
Plumb. Alvin Davis. Thomas X. Robinson, Henry Hankie, William Dowl- 
man. Mary Stewart, Fred C. Rapke. Section 14 — George Wood, George 
F. Clark. Ira Abbott. Donald McDonald. James F. Helmer, F. F. Gray, 
Alanson Stoddard. Section 15 — Ira Abbott, Henry M. Carpenter, Joseph 
Cram. Section t6 — Daniel Cram. George B. Morrikle. Charles W. Rogus. 
Isaiah Alley, Henry Wood. Theron J. Fox, Henry Rinyon, David Courser. 
Section 17 — Andrew Harpending. Alvah Trowbridge, George Bank. Sec- 
tion 18 — Charles Holmes, Peter S. Cain. Timothy M. Eddy, Samuel Cor- 
nell. Welcome W. Johnson. Aaron Carpenter, Frederick Hall. Section 19 — 
Lorenzo Rider, Charles Holmes. Section 20 — Andrew Harpending, Alvah 
Trowbridge, Volney Cawkitis, Charles Fdmunda. Xathaniel Smith. Section 
21 — Alvah Trowbridge. William H. Melock, Wiley R. Reynolds, Lewis- 
Snyder. John Van Yleet. James Rice. John Rice, Isaiah Allev, George Pratt, 
Xathaniel Smith. Section 22— Lewis Melosh, Caleb B. Rice, Tsaiah Munt- 
ley, Benjamin News. David Preston, George P. Gates, Morton W. English, 
Ransom F. Wood. Section 2^ — Henry Van Steenburg, lames H. Brav- 
man, Morton W. English. David Cram, Julius E. Field, Ransom E. Wood, 
James H. Field, Simon Sanges. J. TF Cram. L. B. Potter. Section 24 — 
Milton H. Butler. David Douglass, William Fuller. William Yeaeh. William 
Edwards, Henry Henkle. Martin Weller. Hiram Bicknell, Fred F. Taylor, 
Daniel Abrey. Wellington Copeman. John Bicknell. Section 25— -Milton TL 
Butler, William Edwards. Section 26 — Jacob G. Crane, Gilbert E. Fish, 
Sanford [Times, John I'M wards, George M. Pratt, Jefferson Brown, Degrass 
Fish. Section 2j — Stephen R. Pierson, David S. Pierson, Thomas Peck, 
Luther M. Carpenter. James Neve, Edward Neve, Mary Neve, Frederick 
Hall. Dexter Clark, Harriet Clark. Ransom E. Wood, Jacob Huckelbury. 
Section 28 — Alvah Trowbridge. Wiley R. Reynolds, John Van Yleet, Orison 
A. Pierson, David Pierson. E. IT. Jones and Joseph Shearer, George M. 
Pierson. Section 29 — Andrew Harpending. Alvah Trowbridge. Leonidas 


Scranton, Lorenzo J. Rider. Lewis Melosh, Stephen P. Page. W. G. Philips. 
Section 30 — Lorenzo F\ icier, George \V. Pangborn, Flisha Pangborn, John 
Van Saw, Haskell S. Pangborn, Welcome Johnson. Section 3T — James 
Cavener, Lorenzo J. Rider. Stephen F. Page, Abisher Green, Stephen Page, 
Man- Darling. Section 32 — Alvah Trowbridge. Nathan Burroughs, James 
A. Ingall. Benjamin D. Bradley. Chester Conant, Lli Bellns. Charles Bennett, 
James A. Devins, William Stewart, Francis G. Pierce. Section 33 — George 
Pierson. Goodwin Havcy, Byron 11. Weed, George AL Pierson. Section 34 
— Byron H. Weed, John Van Vleet. Lewis Rice, Jacob Iluckelbury, Tra C. 
Carpenter, Ludden 1. Romans, Bimri AJenhaut, Thomas Huckelbury, James 
R. Bradley, Bradley Smith, Jacob Hucklebury. Section 35 — Thomas P. 
Girls, Alilton IP Butler, Florence A. Phillips, Aaron Fdgar. Section 36 — 
Thomas Girls, Alilton Butler, David Preston. 


Ill the year 1852 Stephen R. Pierson settled in the township of North 
Plains, Ionia count)-. Tie was a native of Ontario count)'. New York. Two 
years later, influenced by favorable reports from him and a gentleman from 
Cortland, Michigan, two other brothers, David and Orson Pierson, and their 
father, started from New York with a team of horses, by which they jour- 
neyed to Buffalo, where they took passage to Detroit. Michigan. Upon 
reaching that place they again had recourse to their team, and drove through 
to the home of their brother in Ionia county. As government or state lands 
were the object of their visit, they came to town 1 .1 north, range 10 west, 
and entered one hundred and sixty acres on sections 27 and 28. Although 
other tracts were soon entered, it is thought to have been the first entry 
made in the township. They built a cabin, twenty by twenty-four feet in 
dimensions, one story high, with a roof sloping one way, the ceiling being so 
low as to allow a man scarce room to stand erect in. This cabin stood on 
the farm of Orson Pierson, and was the first built in this township. 

On the 1 |th of December, 1854. George AI. Pierson, having sent on 
some household goods, with a wife and four small children, left his home in 
New York and set out on his journey to join the settlement commenced by 
his brothers in Michigan. Kalamazoo was at that time the nearest railroad 
station. They, therefore, took the stage at that place, and Grand Rapids 
being the end of the line, made the rest of the journey in a lumber wagon. 
The cabin of his brother, being the only one in the township, was alreadv 
Jillcd to overflowing. The new party increased the company to eighteen. A 


wagon box served as one bed, while those not so fortunate were stowed away 
as best they could be. The different families, however, soon built cabins on 
the land which they at once secured. 

In the latter part of January, 1855, Mil ford Pierson was born, being 
the first white child born in Pierson township. George M. Pierson built 
the next cabin in the township. Having no team, the work of clearing, 
which he soon began, was necessarily slow and difficult. In addition, he 
was compelled to spend much oi his time away from home in order to pro- 
cure the necessaries of life. When he moved into his cabin it had neither 
door nor window — blankets, hung before the openings, serving for this pur- 
pose. Idie snow lay several feet deep. On the 6th of March, Charles M. 
Pierson was born, being the second child in the township. 

During the first winter, George M. Pierson made shingles, which he 
hauled to Rock ford and sold for ten shillings per thousand, and at the same 
time paid live dollars per hundredweight for Hour; but the woods abounded 
in game, deer especially being abundant, and from this source supplies were 

Round lake, also, on the southeast quarter of section 33, as well as the 
larger bodies of water more remote from the settlement, abounded in schools 
of fish, which with little trouble could be secured at all times. George M. 
Pierson during (he greater part of the time for live years was absent, except 
during .Sunday, his work being about sixteen miles distant. He carried 
home on each successive Saturday night provisions for his family the week 
following. He dug up the ground with a mattock, and on that ground raised 
one hundred bushels of corn and sixty bushels of potatoes. The first vear 
a large bear carried off a hog to the woods and devoured it while Mr. Pier- 
son was absent from home. Six others were lost in the same way. 

At the time of settlement the nearest trading post was Rockford. Mrs. 
(1. M. Pierson resided in the township eight vears before visiting a dry- 
goods store. Her sister, Polly Malvina Peck, who came to the township 
with her and lived here during the first years of its setttlement. moved to the 
south part of the state. Their father. Thomas Peck, came to Pierson some 
years later and settled on section 27, and there he resided until his death. 
The first death in Pierson was that of a young man named Fish, who was 
accidentally shot by T Tardy (."ram. He was interred on the farm owned by 
George Pratt, from which he was removed to the cemeterv at a later day. 

The first wedding in Pierson was in 1856, when Tsaiah Alley and Naomi 
Parker were married. Squire Punches, of Nelson, officiated. Dr. Daniel 
Shook was the first resident physician. He was born in Dutchess county, 


New York, and after practicing in his native county and Canada, settled in 
the north part uf Fierson in the year (862. He moved to Coral in 1877. 

Caleb Rice was one of the first settlers in the north part of I'ierson. 
He was born in .Yew York, whence he came to this township in the fall of 
1855. His fathei. Amos F. 'Rice, entered the southwest quarter of section 
j the spring- previous. He settled here permanently, and resided here until 
his death. Tin- spring following their settlement here they set out the first 
fruit trees in the place. 

George Al. and John Fields settled on the southeast quarter of section 
12, in February, 1856. Rufus Reed entered the west half of the southeast 
quarter of section 2. Soon after Air. Rice had built his cabin his son-in- 
law. G. Al. Pratt, came to the township. He chose a location on section =; 
and commenced to erect a mill, which he subsequently sold to Harvey Por- 
ter, who completed it some years later. Tt was the first grist-mill in Fierson 


'fhe village of Fierson is located on land entered by David S. Fierson 
and Dexter Clark, who were for many years residents of the township. 
When the Grand Rapids lv Indiana railroad was completed through Fierson, 
this village and another in the north part of the township were laid out. 
Neither attained any special importance or size. 

O. H. Richmond opened the first store in Fierson. in 1867. '['he build- 
ing which 1 1 e erected stood on the southwest corner of the northwest quarter 
of section 27. This building was destroyed by lire. 

In 1868, C. O. Taylor built a hotel, usually known as the Taylor House. 
Some year* later he built an addition and then sold it to Otis Buck. 

Dr. IF F. K'ilborn was a native of Canada, and came to Fierson in 
i8(>o. He was the first physician in the village, but remained only a short 
time, when he removed to .Yew York. Drs. D. Fverett, 11. D. IToklen and 
Col. D. Johnson followed. The Fierson hotel was built by Richard (rage. 
1 11 1870 McConnell M Sous, of Flkhart county, Indiana, built a saw-mill at 
this place It turned out. on an average, three millions of feet per year. In 
\$jj this firm erected the Empire Flouring Mills, of Fierson, at a cost of 
ten thousand dollars. It had a capacity of seventy-five barrels of flour. 

Pierson was platted and laid out on October t8, 1870, for David S. 
I'ierson, John F. Shaw and Dexter Clark, proprietors, by William Thorton, 
surveyor. This was the largest lumber center in Fierson township, but of 


the history of the town from the time it was platted up to the present is 
merely a restatement of the history of any lumber town or camp during the 
time when the lumber industry was at its zenith. This was a prosperous 
village, but when this business was exhausted the prosperity of 1'ierson 
waned. At present Pierson is a small village. It is a station on the Grand 
Rapids &. Indiana railroad and the business interests of the town consist of 
three stores and two elevators. It is a small trading point where the people 
in the south part ot the township can do their trading, although it is too 
close to Howard City to draw very extensively. At present it has a popula- 
tion of seventy-live. 


Pierson township bears the honor, if that it might be called, of having 
the largest number of u>wns within its territory. In all there have been five 
towns platted and laid out in this township, namely: Pierson, Maple Hill, 
Sand Lake, Wood Lake, and Whitetish Lake. All of these, with the excep- 
tion of \\ hitefish Lake, are located on the Grand Rapids iv. Indiana railroad. 

Maple Hill, which lies in the southwest corner of section 2, was platted 
on October 22, 1870, lor Caleb P>. and William Price, 'proprietors, by Ldward 
H. 'Jones, surveyor. This was the location of a saw-mill, which did a lucra- 
tive business for many years, but as far as the village goes, it never attained 
a great si/e. A store was kept for the accommodation of the employees of 
the mill and tin's had a fairly good trade at that time. There is one store 
located in Maple Mill now. but the major percentage of the business in this 
part, of the township is carried on in Howard City. 

Wood Lake lies to the south of .Maple Hill, in the southeastern corner 
of section 15. on the lake which bears the same name. This town, or 
village, was plaited on March 21. 1870. for Henry M. Carpenter, proprietor, 
by I -ldward !I. Jones, surveyor. Wood Lake, which is now called Hiram,, 
never attained any great prominence in the township. Tt now contains onlv 
an ice bouse for the storage of ice taken from Wood lake. There are onlv 
a few dwellings left, and it is served by the rural route from Howard Citv. 

Whitelish Lake, which is the largest resort in Montcalm countv, was 
platted and recorded at two different times, namely: October 4. 1906. and 
August 14. .1907. The former plat was made for H. L. and T. Campbell, 
while the latter was made for James A. and Mary A. Skinner. Both of these 
plats were surveyed and laid out by J. 1\ Daoust. surveyor. Whitelish 
Lake resort lies on the east side of Whitelish lake, in section 20, and two 


miles west of Pierson, which is the nearest railroad station. During the 
summer, crowds of pick-nickers, campers, and persons desiring quiet and rest 
for a few weeks visit this resort. 

Sand Lake has its major portion in Kent county, although one plat has 
been made and recorded in this county, but this part of the town does not 
attain prominence enough to deserve a lengthy discourse in this chapter. 



Pine township, which is designated on the government survey as town- 
ship i i north, range 8 west, is hounded on the north by Cato township, on 
the east by Douglass, on the smith by Montcalm and on the west by Maple 
Valley. The petition asking for the erection of Pine township was dated on 
April -'5, t86t, and bore the following- signatures: Daniel Lang, Hiram 
Hull, S. P. Voungman. Anthony Platte, P. 13. Galley, Ira Hale, James 
Stuart, Samuel Kelley, George Main. W. R. Martin, Samuel Sanborn, A. S. 
Krench, James Orcutt, (). 11. Stryker, James A. Owens, D. R. Hart, Stephen 
Aldrich. George Wallace. Pent Persons. M. C. Comber, A. Wakeman, G. R. 
Mart. A. W. Addam and L. Tuttle. The signers of this petition were free- 
holders of townships n and I .? north, ranges 7 and 8 west. This petition 
was presented to the board of supervisors at their regular session held in 
June, 1861. and asked that township .11 north, ranges 7 and 8 west, be 
detached from the township of Cato and organized into a separate township 
to be known as Pine. The notice of this petition was printed in the Green- 
ville Independent. 

After due consideration the board of supervisors granted the praver of 
the petitioners and erected the township of Pine on the t6Ui of October, 
j 86 1. at their regular October session. They also ordered that the lirst 
election be held at the house of A. W. Addam, and that David Pang. David 
R. Hart and A. \Y. Addam act as presiding officers at this meeting. The 
name of the newly created township was selected, as can readily be seen, 
from the leading variety of its timber, and was chosen bv one of the com- 
mittee named to draft the petition for the erection of the township. At the 
first election, held in April. 1862, there were just nineteen votes cast, and of 
this election the following was the result: Supervisor, Joseph Wilcox; clerk. 
Daniel Pang; treasurer. Stephen Aldrich; justices of the peace, Stephen 
Aldrich, Penajah Persens and Alfred Wakeman; highway commissioners. 
Alfred Wakeman and Isaac Hart; constables. Benjamin Persens and Sylves- 
ter Rocka fellow. It is rather interesting to note that there were ten offices 
to fill and only nineteen voters in all. and there were two offices filled by the 
same men. 


The soil in Pine township in general is a light sandy loam, and as the 
name indicates, the prevailing timber is pine, with a mixture of beech and 
maple. The south part is hilly, and in places mi rough as to be of little value 
tor farming purposes. In the northwestern part the surface is more level, 
the timber consisting principally of the wardwood varieties, and the soil 
clayey and better adapted to the pursuits of agriculture. 

On the southwest quarter of section _>6 the Flat river, which flows in a 
southwesterly direction across the township, entering on section 24 and leav- 
ing it on section ^4, is dammed, and furnishes an excellent water-power. 
The outlet of the small lake on the southeast quarter o\ section 21 forms a 
power in the same locality. Xear the center of section 28 the outlet of 
Horseshoe lake furnishes another good power. Thus the south part is fur- 
nished with three good motors, which for many years were utilized in the 
manufacture of lumber. These, in connection with several steam mills and 
others that were operated from time to time, and the Flat river, which here- 
tofore bore large quantities of logs from its immediate vicinity, have cleared 
die township of its once beautiful and extensive tracts of pine, which were 
among the finest in the count v. 


Section 1— Oscar Cargill, Jacob A. Davis, John J. Fly. Lucius Stanley. 
Section 2— Jacob A. Davis. Samuel M. Puggs, Lucius Stanley, Richard 

Choenlv. Fmmerson II. Gallea. M. L. Hooker. Section 3- Asa Davis, 

llenrv IF (."rapo. P. Penniman. Fdmund Hall. Section 4 — George Maeom- 
ber. Henry J I. (rapo P. Penniman. Section 5 — ("ieorge Macomber. Fdmund 
Hal!. Section h — Alfred Waterman. Sylvester Rncka teller. Lewis F. Smith, 
James Stark, Albert and Fdwin Dorr, James Porter. Section 8 (ieorge 
Macomber. Josiah IF Jackson. Luther AL Perry. Section g — George Macom- 
ber. Henry W. (rapo. P Penniman. Section io- -Abel Avery. IF IF Crapo. 
P. Penniman. Section 11 -James O. Fdwards. Jacob A. Davis, Stephen 
Page, Jacob Davis. Section 1 _»■ -Oscar J. Cargill. Reuben S. Klac, Joseph 
Sook. Alfred Mundy. D. W. Morse. Section i,v---l .oreii Curtis. Stephen 
Page, Josiah Russell. Seclion 14— Josiah Russell. Stephen Page, Jacob A. 
Davis, Hiram F. Russell. Section 15— -Hiram Russell, Andrew Russell. 
Stephen Page, Abel Avery. Section 16 — Lorenzo TL Brooks, Lewis F. 
Smith. Section 1 7— -Josiah Russell. Section 18- -Louis S. Lovell. Section 
ig— Harrison Morgan. Louis S. Lovell. (ieorge Macomber. Section 20- ■-- 
Josiah Russell, 1). W. Morse. Section 21— Josiah Russell. Louis Lovell, 


Carso Crane, John Ilaire. Ira Burnham. Section 22 — Oscar Cargill, Hiram 
L. Russell, Stephen Rage, William Patrick, Asa Rainier, James M. Ferris. 
Section 2$ — Oscar L. Cargill. Alvin Berry, Steplien Page, Jacob Davis. 
Section 24 ■ — X. Slaght. Daniel Moore, Benjamin Knight. Alvin Berry. Sec- 
tion 25-— George Loucks. Jacob A. Davis. Section 26 — Voluey Belden, John 
(A I'lanchard. John (ireen. John Lewis, Josiah Russell. John Lewis, Josiah 
Russell. John (ireen. Section 27 — George Loucks. Abel Avery, Oscar (Air- 
gill. Henry Stringham, George Loucks, Joseph Stearns, Josiah Russell. 
Stephen I'. Rage. Section 28— (ieorge Loucks and William L. Gregory, 
Henry M. Moore. Stephen Rage. Kpsoaj Russell. Louis La veil, R. Sevmour, 
Samuel Butler, A. Litchfield, Charles Sevmour. Section 2<) — Josiah Russell. 
Section 30 — Loren Curtis, (ieorge Loucks. Harrison Morgan. Louis Lovell. 
Section 31 --George Loucks. Louis Lovell. Jacob A. Davis and John Clark. 
Section $2 -Hiram K. Russell, Louis Lovell, Jacob A. Davis, John Clark, 
Josiah Jackson. Section ^ — Henry Moore. George O. Russell, Josiah Rus- 
sell, Louis Lovell. Jacob A. Davis. John Clark, Charles J. Church. William 
Van Loo. Section 34 — George Loucks, Lliphalet Gregory, Charles Seymour. 
Section ^5-- -Josiah Russell. Jacob A. Davis, David Hart. Section 36 — - 
Jacob A. Davis, William Burt, Daniel W. McLeon. 


The development of the lumbering interests was the occasion of the 
first improvements in the township of Line. About the year 1851-52 an 
association of men known as the John Green Companv, and composed of 
John Green. Abel Lrench. Josiah Russell and Charles C. Rllsworth, came 
into the township, and with a force of men at once began preparations for 
erecting a saw-mill. There was at this time no settler nor human habitation, 
aside from those of the Indians, within its confines. It was necessary, 
therefore, that cabins for the men be first built, which, when erected, were 
only of a temporary character, as the company purposed building more per- 
manent quarters as soon as lumber could be manufactured. The river was 
soon dammed., though not substantially, as it subsequently washed out, a 
frame was erected, and one saw set in operation. The cabins built at this 
time were the first in the township, and stood east of the mill, near the bank. 
The following Christmas another saw was added, and the force of men was 
increased. Isaac Hart, who died in the war, was the sawyer of the upright 
sa.w; a Mr. Smead was foreman of the circular saw. The company failed in 
about two years and the mill passed into the hands of Kastern parties. 


josiah .Russell, who was a man of considerable means and owned large 
tracts of land in various localities, subsequently removed to the North, where 
he died. John Green was a resident of Greenville, and is spoken of more 
fully in another part of this work. His son. John Green, Jr., owned a saw- 
mill in the western part of Sidnev. Abel French afterward became a resi- 
dent of Cato, where he lived many years. 

Anions the many who owned the mill property at Langston were George 
Saux, of Greenville, and Edwin Breese. It next came into the possession of 
a firm in Grand Rapids. Tt was later owned by D. J. Brown. 


The first settler who came into Pine intending to engage in agriculture 
was Alfred Wakeman. lie settled on the south half of the southwest quar- 
ter of section 6, some years after the settlement in the southeastern part of 
the township began, lie was followed soon afterward by James Starks and 
T. O. Berry, both of whom settled on section 6. 

While the mill before referred to was yet in possession of Edwin 
Breese, Daniel Lang, from Steuben count}'. \ew York, came in to take 
charge and oversee the work. Hut scarce a year had elapsed when Air. 
Breese failed, and Mr. Lang was compelled to look about, as were all the 
employees, for occupation elsewhere. It was not in Alontcalm in those days 
as at present. Work could not always be secured for the asking; indeed, in 
the earlier years of its settlement, work at times could not be secured on anv 
terms. The state road from Greenville to Big Rapids had alreadv been 
established, and travel over this route had become steadv and constantlv 


Daniel Lang, therefore, put: up a small frame building, and commenced 
keeping hotel on a small scale. It was the second frame house in the town- 
ship, the first being built near the mill by the mill company. The enterprise 
was entirely successful, and increased patronage rendered it necessarv that 
Mr. Lang should soon build an addition, which be accordinglv did. The 
more additions he built (and they were attached, additions upon additions, 
until, as was remarked, his house in the twilight, looked like a castle on the 
Rhine — and he despaired of furnishing ample accommodations at all times), 
the more popular the hotel and its proprietor became. When, anticipating 
that the travel would possibly shift to another route, he decided to build no 


more, his hotel \v:is the largest between Greenville and Big Rapids. When 
the highway from Grand Kapids to this village became the general line of 
trawl, and other routes connected with it, the decline in business anticipated 
by Mr. Lang came in fact, and this thoroughfare to the north, upon which at 
all hours of the day, and lasting late into the night, the halloo of teamsters 
and the crack of their whips could be heard, became almost deserted. The 
completion of the railroads to the northeast and west also tended to this 
result. Daniel Lang died in i86q. 

Henry Caukins was also prominently connected with the early develop- 
ment of this township. He was considered the best informed in regard to 
land boundaries, section lines, etc., of any man in this section of the state. 
He became a resident, and lived here a number of years, filling the office of 
town clerk several terms in succession. He surveyed nearly all the land in 
this section, and also platted the village of Langston. 

Nathan H. Briggs and his elder brother, Hiram, was a native of New 
York, whence, with his parents, he moved to Medina countyj Ohio, when 
that comity was yet comparatively new. In 1837 the family moved into 
Livingston county. Michigan, then an almost unbroken wilderness, the near- 
est neighbor being several miles distant. There his parents settled perma- 
nently. In t 85 r the brothers referred to came to Pine, intending to spend a 
part of the winter hunting game. Nathan H. Briggs was at that time 
twenty-one years of age and unmarried, ami had no thought of making it 
his home. By Christmas forty-four deer had fallen by his ride, and he esti- 
mated that he killed no less than two hundred within the confines of the 
township of Line. Another brother, Zenas Briggs. who came in 18(12 and 
engaged in lumbering, later engaged in farming. 

In November of 1 86 1 Joseph Wilcox came to Line from Greenville, 
where he had settled four years previous. He then became prominently 
connected with its official interests, being elected supervisor at the first town 


The first postoffice in Line township was kept in the house of Nathan 
IT. Briggs Henry W. Gaukins being postmaster and Mr. Briggs deputy — 
in 1863. Previous to this time the most convenient office for this section 
was Greenville. The mail route at this time extended from that village to 
Big Rapids, over which the mail passed once a week, being carried on horse- 
back. When the roads became impassable, it was taken on foot. The office 
was subsequently removed to Daniel Lang's hotel, and next to the store of 


Air. Cage, who came in and rented a store building erected by Zenas Briggs. 
(iage opened a general stock of goods, but in a single year removed his stuck 
from the township. In 1857 Charles rainier started a blacksmith shop. 
Me soon sold to Christopher Lipscomb, a gunsmith. 

The second store was opened by J. L>. Norton and R. 1\ Sprague. Nor- 
ton, who later engaged in banking, soon sold to Sprague. who conducted the 
business very successfully for about three years, when he sold out to Bennett 
& Mill> and moved to Greenville. The sales of Norton and Sprague were 
immense, considering the times, aggregating fifty thousand dollars per 
annum. The large store-room on the northwest corner was built by Thomas 
K. Ward, and was known as the Ward block. It was sixty by eight}' feet on 
the ground, and three stories high. The lower tloor was intended for store 
rooms, the second floor for oliices, and the third floor for a large hall. The 
building was not, however, entirely completed according to original designs. 

The Briggs hotel was built bv Benjamin Briggs. who came to the town- 
ship in 1866 and engaged first in the mercantile business. A small hotel 
had been erected by Christopher Lipscomb on the site later occupied by the 
fine hotel known as the Briggs I louse, after its first proprietor. It cost 
about live thousand dollars. When these buildings were erected there was 
strong anticipation that the railroad which passes through to the westward 
would come to Langston. In the fall of 1 86 5 the firm of .Price & Kendall 
erected a saw-mill in the north part of the township, their lands lying prin- 
cipally on sections 5 and 8. They started with a small portable mill and 
employed but few men. Soon, however, they enlarged the mill and intro- 
duced new and improved machinery and employed twenty-five men. The 
mill, with its surroundings, had the appearance of quite a village, and received 
the name of Kendallville, from one of the proprietors. 

The first school in Bine township was taught by Jennie J wing, in an 
unoccupied room of David Hart's house, in the summer of 1858. Miss 
Lang received one dollar and fifty cents per week. The term lasted three 
months, and the attendance was ten. Joseph Wilcox built the first school 
house in the township. 

Kendallville was never platted and was only one of the many lumber 
camps which were located in this county at that early date. There was a 
saw-mill, as was previously mentioned, with some eight or ten dwellings for 
the lumbermen. With the exhaustion of the timber this camp ceased to exist 
as a village. 



Pangston is the only town in Pine township which was ever platted and 
at the present time is only a hamlet. It was platted on the southwest quar- 
ter of the southwest quarter of section 26 and also a part of the adjoining 
section. This was recorded as Irvine's plat of the village of Langston and 
was surveyed and laid out on April 15, 1870, by Henry \V. Cankin. The 
original proprietors of this village were I high Irving, Plectra J. "Lipscomb, 
Benjamin II. Briggs. Jr., Zcnas P. Briggs, Henry T. Clark and Thomas R. 
White. There were at. the time of the platting the streets of Main. A, P>, C. 
and River, with Pirst. Second. Third and Pourth as cross streets. There 
have been two additions to this original plat: That of Bloombergs, which 
was surveved on April ■>>, 1871, and that of Avery & Cankin, which was 
surveyed on Aprii 28. 1871. 

Pangston began its career when the limber industry was at the zenith 
(.if its operations and was one of the most flourishing of the lumber towns. 
Situated, as it is, in the central part of a township which bears its name on 
account of the kind of timber which covered it. there is no great explanation 
necessary to show the origin and early growth of this village. It is situated 
011 the banks of Plat river, which at that time was the chief river highway 
down which the logs were rafted. Mills abounded here and it was truly the 
type of a lumber camp as depicted by Ralph O'Connor and others. But with 
the exhaustion of the limber this village began to decrease in population, 
and having no natural resource and not even a railroad, it went down very 
rapidly. There are at present about one hundred inhabitants in the village, 
and owing to the fact that this township has produced some excellent farm- 
ing lands the town has proved a trading center. There are two general stores 
at present, owned by P. P. Tlinkey & Company and Carlos Dennison. There 
are aPo two blacksmith shops, which are managed by Henry Spicer and a 
Mr. Allen. This village is served by mail on the rural route from Stanton 
and Gowen. 



Re)-nolds township, which is designated on the government survey as 
town u north, range 10 west, is situated in the extreme northwestern cor- 
ner of the countw This bears the distinction of being' the nineteenth town- 
ship organized in the count}', Richland alone being organized at a later date. 
.Reynolds is bounded on the north by Mecosta county, on the east by Win- 
held township, on the south bv Pierson township, and on the west by 
Xewaygo county. Reynolds township was officially organized by the board 
of supervisors on .March 30. i8(kl It is a rather queer stroke of fate that 
the minutes of the supervisors of the county for this meeting are missing, as 
also is the original petition asking for the creation of this township, thus it 
is impossible to give the names of the persons desiring the organization of a 
new township. This is the second township for which the minutes bearing 
on the creation have been destroyed, or rather the clerk failed to enter them 
in the minute book— in this instance there are no minutes from December 
30. 1 868, to October ii, ]86y. 

The first meeting was held at the house of David Swarthout, but 
through some misunderstanding the voters of the township did not assemble 
at the time appointed by the board of supervisors, and the organization was 
not, therefore, completed until May T7, 1869, when in accordance with a 
notice duly given, the electors assembled and elected the necessarv officers 
according to law. J. fl. Maze and John Moore, who had been regularly 
appointed inspectors of election, being absent. Harry Stevens and Abel K. 
Stevens were, appointed in their stead. David Swarthout was appointed 
chairman, and Horatio L. Wheeler, clerk. The whole number of votes cast 
was thirty-two. 


Section 1 — David Iloag, Abijah Paynter. Section 2 — Aloney Rust, 
James \Y. Sanborn, Peter Sanborn, William W. Squires, Abijah Paynter, 
Robert J*. Mitchel, Xelson Iligbee, James M. Turner. Section 3 — James 
W. Sanborn, Peter Sanborn. Allen Wright. Section 4 — Gideon Truesdell, 


Joseph H. I luck ley, Jeremiah Ryan, David Rice, Robert IF. Smith, Martin 
Parkhurst. Brigham Barnes, Jerome Dickenson, Albert Pope, Jacob Smith. 
Section 5 — George Gihnore. Section 6 — Henry Gilmore, George Gilmore. 
William Harris, James Allen, Lyeander \V. l)e Glair, John C. Williams, 

Jacob Thatcher. Section 7 -Lysandcr Ouigley, James Allen. Section 8~- 

Marshall Stark, John llawlcv, A. Mosher. Albert Mosher. Henry D. Cilley, 
Albert G. bey, Sylvester Kenton. Nicholas W. Gahilson. Section 9 — Henry 
Stevens, Walter Sull. Galen Eastman, Marshall Stark. Section 10 --Peter 
Sanborn. Walter Sull, Galen Eastman, Pranklin Smith, Harry Stevens. Sec- 
tion 11 — Peter Sanborn, Franklin Smith, Abijah Paynter. Section 12 
Edgar P. Gray, David D. Goag. Abijah Paynter, John E. Ganwiler, Martin 
Ryerson. R. W. Morris. Section 13 — Abijah Paynter, Marshall Stark. John 
Squires, Edgar Gray, Electa Jane Simmons, J. Morrison. Section 14 — 
James Bueley. Eli Rradenburgh, Alexander Lucas, Joseph Lucas, Harry 
Stevens. Section j6 Merritt IJallocks, William Rice, Alanson Orton, 
Augustus Paddock, James Herron, Stephen G. Hall, Gerrett Ward. Section 
17 — Jefferson Morrison. Section 18 — Wallace R. Page, Jefferson Morris, 
Dan Lant, Jacob P. Oswalt, John Xewman. Section 19 — Patrick Lvncli, 
Louis Swell. Richard Dye. John Lynch. Section jo — Josiah Stevens, Amos 
Stevens, Aaron Hallock. I - J i I hillock. Samuel Sanger, Horatio L. Wheeler, 
Harry Havel. Erastus A. Hand, Henry Lahym. Samuel Working, Anthony 
Hall, Samuel Ilasker. Section 22— Orville Thompson, Edwin 'J'hompson, 
John Hawkey. Alfred Scott, Alonxo M. Carrier. Miron Carrier. Augustus 
MeEenney. Henry Scott. Arthur B. Scott. Section 2$ — John Squires. Sec- 
tion 24 — Peter Sanborn, Arabul Smith, Byron Squires, John J). P>orden, 
Jeremiah Ryan. Ldgar L. Gray. John I*'. Gauweiler, Chauucev Davis. Sec- 
tion 25 — Peter Sanborn. Section 26 -Peter Sanborn, Martin Ryerson, 
Robert Morris. John P. Ganwiler. Aaron McKinney, Harrv Stevens. Sec- 
tion jX John Blanchard. Levi L. Trott. Martin Ryerson. Robert Morris, 
Vincent J. Goldsmith, William U. Ames. Harry R. Stevens. Lucius Ames, 
David Swarthout. A. P. Stevens. Aaron Wooden. Section 29 — John C. 
Blanchard. Section 30 — George Bankart, Louis Swell. Richard Dye, John 
I). Borden. James Pi. Bush. Harry Shimmons. Xewell Stevens. Section 31 — 
John Moore, Albert Robertson. Section 32— George Backart, Lorenzo Rider, 
John C. Blanchard. Merritt PLalleck. Ezra L. Reynolds, Horatio \Y. Smith, 
Thomas Hill. Section ^^ — Allen Wright. John Blanchard. Section 34 — 
Allen Wright, Eli Hallock. Levi Leonard. Howard Bradley, William Glover, 
ITenrv Graves. Section 36 — Peter Sanborn. 
" (14) 



The entire surface of the township, as the streams indicate, slopes in 
general to the westward towards the Muskegon river, into which empties 
Tamarack creek and Little river, which streams drain the township of Rey- 
nolds. The latter of these enters the township on section 3, from Mecosta 
county, and ilows in a southwesterly course across sections 8, 9, to, 17 and 
18, from which it enters Xewago countv. It also makes a slight curve into 
the northwest quarter of section 16. Stephen creek, the outlet, of the small 
lake on the line of Reynolds and Winiield. enters Little river on section 17. 

Tamarack creek, entering on section 36 and passing into Newaygo 
county on section 30, Hows through sections 23. 2(1, 27, 33 and 32. It 
receives two small st reams from the south, which llow through sections 32 
and 33. Another stream flows through sections t. 2, 3 and 10. The town- 
ship is, therefore, well drained and watered. 

The soil of the greater part is light, sandy loam, and in places is not 
productive. There are. however, some good farming lands, hut they were 
originally covered with a heavy growth of pine, and no considerable advance 
was made in agriculture until the completion of the Grand Rapids & Indiana 


The settlement of Reynolds had marie no considerable progress previous 
to the platting of Howard City and the organization of the township, it 
having been a part of l'ierson until the year j86q. At that time there were 
but thirty-two resident voters in the township, and the larger portion of 
them were engaged in lumbering or working in the saw-mill built by Harvey 
R. Stevens on section 32. This was the first mill in Reynolds. The long- 
distance over which the settlers were compelled to haul lumber for all build- 
ing purposes previous to the building of this mill, and the ready means it 
afforded for clearing land, by making the labor necessary to that end profit- 
able, rendered it of particular benefit to the settlers who now began to come 
to the township. It-- growth has since been comparatively rapid. 

This mill passed into the possession of Conner & Aimv, and was oper- 
ated until 1873. when it burned. Another, built on the same site, was also 
destroyed by lire and has never been rebuilt. In 1869 A. R. Stevens com- 
menced a shingle-mill also, but before completing it he sold a half interest 
to David Lord. This gentleman, with J. K. Kip]), built a saw-mill on section 


3$. The streams at this time were being made use of by mill companies at 
Muskegon for the purpose of rafting large quantities of logs from Rey- 
nolds and other townships to the East and North. For this purpose the 
streams were dammed, and thus large tracts of land were overflowed and 
rendered practically worthless. 

The firm of Kipp & Lord wa^ the first to declare war against what they 
considered an imposition, and when the Muskegon companies commenced to 
raft logs they very promptly signified their intention to dispute the usurpa- 
tion. The Boom Company, of Muskegon sent men. it is asserted, to tear 
away the dam of the mill company. Mr. Kipp, with some instrument at 
hand from the mill, took his position above the men who were about to 
remove some of the timbers. TTis resolute demeanor was so suggestive of 
what they might expect if they persisted in trespassing upon his property 
that they sent away for reinforcements. The case was taken into the courts, 
and passed from one tribunal to another, until the township was finally freed 
from this nuisance of raising and lowering the waters in its streams. The 
malaria arising from covering large tracts with water, and then exposing 
them to the sun in the summer, almost universally resulted in fever and ague. 


The village of Howard City was platted in 1868 by E. W. Muencher. 
the civil engineer of the Grand Rapids & Indiana railroad. The principal 
part, of the village is situated on the north half of the northeast quarter of 
section 3. and the south half of the southeast quarter of section 26. Benja- 
min F.nsley, an early settler near the east line of Muskegon county, and who 
at the time the railroad was completed owned a number of tracts of land in 
this vicinity, was the original founder of the village. The side tracks of the 
railroad were completed, and in August, 1869, the depot erected. This was 
the first house built within the limits of the village, and besides these 
improvements there was no sign of a settlement here, or break or clearing 
in the primeval solitudes. The company stationed a man named Spencer 
at this place, but he was soon superseded by William Edmondson, who, with 
his family, occupied the depot, and who. seeing that travel was constantly- 
increasing, prepared to entertain as many guests as his limited accommoda- 
tions would allow. This branch of the business seems to have been both 
agreeable and remunerative to him, since in the fall he built (for a hotel") a 
small house, which with many modifications, later served as the wing of the 
Coburn's Exchange. Tt was not originally a pretentious edifice, or very 


comfortable in winter, but it answered the purpose for which it was intended 
and was the first business place in Howard City. 

The village, however, had an early rival. In the winter of 1869-70, 
J. K. Kipp. Harvey R. Stevens and a man named Blaisdell formed an asso- 
ciation, intending to start a village on the south half of the southeast quarter 
of section 23. on the line of the railroad and about one mile north of How- 
ard City. This land was owned by Harvey R. Stevens. Blaisdell, being a 
conductor on the railroad, it was thought that through his intluence they 
would be able to secure a station and switch. These preliminary arrange- 
ments were entirely successful. The state road to connect with a similar 
highway from Grand Rapids to Big Rapids had already been completed 
some distance east from Muskegon, and the projectors of the new village at 
once set about to secure it. In this, too. they were successful, much to the 
disappointment of those interested in the prosperity of Howard City, and 
lots in Reynolds began to be in demand with those seeking business loca- 
tions. Several were sold and one purchaser, (')rin Andrews, erected a store 
building. In t lie meantime the company were not. idle. They began active 
preparations to receive and set a portable saw-mill in operation in order to 
supply with lumber those wishing to build. This being done, the success of 
the enterprise was looked upon as assured, while the prospects of Howard 
Citv were regarded as correspondingly depressing. Unfortunately for Rey- 
nolds, however, a mortgage now began to be troublesome, and rendered a 
clear title to the village lots impossible. The collapse of the undertaking 
was as complete as it was sudden, and the success of Howard Citv was at 
once insured. 

The. second place of business opened in this village was the little grocery 
of \Y. 1_). Sabin, who came to Howard City and began to erect a small build- 
ing soon .after William Kdmondson opened his hotel. Mr. Sabin subse- 
quently added dry-goods and later built a large store building and opened a 
stock of hardware. The sales for 1879 aggregated from eighteen to twenty 
thousand dollars. One of the hr<t business places opened in Howard Citv 
also was the hardware store of John K. Clubb. which stood across the road 
from the hotel built by Kdmondson. Tie remained in trade but a short time. 
The first saw-mill was built by David Botsford: it was later owned by 
Henry II inkle, of I'ierson township. 

In 1873 Howard City, having attained the requisite number of inhabi- 
tants, was incorporated. The first election under the charter was held on the 
7th of April. 1873, at which time one hundred and nineteen votes were cast, 
of which, for the office of president of the village. Albert I\ Thomas 


received one hundred and eighteen. The following persons were elected 
trustees: John F. Chubb, Donly L. Coon, John L. Shattuck, Duncan C. 
MeKinnon; clerk. George 11. Segar ; assessor, R. Mathews; treasurer. David 
Potsford; marshal, Joseph F. Jones. 

The following article was taken from the 1901 Christmas number of 
the Howard City RecoxL and is the best history that could be written: 


The coming of a. railroad to a town always marks one of the most 
momentous epochs in its history. Previous to the close of the Civil War 
thousands of prosperous villages existed and had their being, were pleasant 
and comfortable places of abode and busy marts of trade, yet whose only 
connections with the outside world were obtained by the old-fashioned stage- 
co'ich lines and trucking teams, back and forth from the more populous and 
more fortunate towns, located upon those great arteries of trade — the rail- 

Following the close of the war came theretofore unrivalled prosperity 
and commercial activity in the Xorth. and one of the most marked advance- 
ments of the decade was its building of railroads. 

1 -Inward City was not then in existence. In 1868 the Grand Rapids & 
Indiana railroad had reached a point as far north as Cedar Springs, and the 
country north of it was to a great extent an unbroken wilderness. Big 
Rapids. Traverse City and 1 Aldington were "on the map," and Muskegon 
was a thriving saw-mill town. Paris and ITersey, both being located on 
rivers, had a store or two and were looked upon as trading posts, and Croton 
and Xewaygo to the west were more or less prominent. A stage line was 
in operation between Pig Rapids and Grand Rapids, the nearest stopping 
place to what afterward became FToward City being Ben Enslev's tavern, 
six miles southwest of here, on the old state road. That was a noted place 
in those davs and Mr. Pmsley was "it." Tie had a store and saloon, as well 
as a tavern and all teams coming and going over the stage line made it a 
point to stop with him and obtain rest and refreshments for both man and 

T .umbering operations had been in progress two or three years here, at 
that time and old-timers will recall such men as the Orton Brothers; Atvvood, 
of Greenville: Pat Gorman, of Grand Rapids, and C. F. Nason as among- 
the earliest comers. Later on, with the advent of the railroad, came Henry 
Henkel. Dave Botsford. Charley Miller. Seth Beals, Morgan & Stanton and 


other*. Shingle-mills also began to dot the surrounding country after the 
road was put through, and the Hand}- 'Brothers, Sam Dent, Chubb & Powell, 
Joel Smith & Son*, and others found it a place in which to do a flourishing 
business, and the festhe shingle weaver with his bell-bottomed trouser legs, 
broad binding on his coat and vest and jaunty turban hat was the beau-ideal 
of fashion. There were then only two settlers between Cedar Springs and 
Ben Fnsley's and from thence north the road twisted about through the 
pine forests and not another settler was found until within live or six miles 
of Big Rapids. The old Rathbun House was the leading hotel in Grand 
Rapids, while the old Barnard House, and the Bronson House, owned by 
Air. Courtwright, father of William Courtwright, of Newaygo, vied with 
one another for second place. 

In the spring of 1869 the Grand Rapids & Indiana railroad reached the 
lumber cam]) which afterward became Howard City, and was built on north 
as far as Morley, which for a time continued to be the northern terminal. 
Like all towns which have been the scenes of lumbering operations, Howard 
City was wild and rough in its earlier years and the lumber jacks with their 
spike boots and mackinaw suits made Rome howl when the}' came in from 
the camps for a time. 

The Tamarac river, which I'ows through the town, furnished the means 
for conveying the timber from here to the mills at Muskegon and the heavy 
growth of large pine for which this section of the state became famous 
produced man}- fortunes, which were mostly taken elsewhere to be spent. 

Among the earlier settlers were Lewis W. Wilbur, Joseph Mosher. 
'Thomas, Roval and William Quick, William H. Lovely, J. W. Lovely, 
(diaries '.Larry. Ri.x, Ben and Frank Church, Horace Menkee, Major A. B. 
Howe and his brothers, Dan and Charles Y. ; Henry Maylette, A. R. and 
X. W. Mather, Doctor Lord. J. IT. Kipp, J. TL Kdmondson, who built the 
original hotel, which is now Coburn's F.xchange; Captain Coon, who later 
greatly enlarged the same building; H. G. Coburn, who has owned it many 
vears since; Frank and Peter Stevens, James Tyler, A. P. Thomas, J. L. 
Shattuck. George and Austin Barber. David Swarthout, William Boynton, 
T. C. Fonts, Doctor Snow, J. P. Denton, John Delaney. T. C. Borden, 
Doctor Snyder, S. M. Hewing*. T. C. Prout, E. IT. Simons, Alf Macomber. 
Al Spalshury, William S. Dove. William F. Thompson, Steve Winslow. 
Arthur Price, Isaiah Allen, Port Dayman, W. D. Sabin, Orlin Potter, Sidney 
Granger, Eli Overpac. A. Booth. Chester A. Rockwell. Charles Broast, John 
C. Collins, William Robbie. Solomon Lisk. O. J. Wolfe. C. C. Aterbury, 
Richard H. and Albert O'Donald. Henry ITenkel, Ed Lovely, O. J. Knapp, 


"Billy" Wilson, E. Y. Wilson. Richard Perry, Alex Denton, George M. 
Doty. J. .11. Haskins. John Fields, C 13. Rice, John, Alex, Jim and Fred 
Watts. Jim Sargent. Alex Duncan, Seth Deals, Si Morgan, Samuel Dent, 
Jack McMillen, D. A. Murray, Dan Shook, J. W. and Sid Y. Bullock, Henry 
Rogers. Peter DeWitt, Olcott Lowell, Johnny Montste, Dan Miller, George 
C'ox. Henderson. George Underhill, Captain Robinson., Bob Robin- 
son, A. C. White, Joseph Southard, and others whose names are not at 
present recalled. 

For li f teen years of its existence, Howard City was a wooden town. 
It was distinctively a lumber town. The pine grew thick and heavy here, 
mills sprang up all about and lumber was comparatively cheap. The princi- 
pal thought was how to make money as quickly and in as large quantities as 
possible and then go elsewhere to enjoy the fruits of it. Little thought was 
devoted in the earlier years to building for the future, to securing shady 
streets and beautiful homes, or to protecting property from (ire. For fifteen 
years, with the exception of a brief period when a wheezy second-hand hand- 
engine, always out of repair, was owned by the village, the only protection 
against lire was a "bucket brigade," of which every man, woman and child 
in the place was a member. 

And surely if any town was ever thoroughly ravaged by fire Howard 
Citv was. Aside from the usual or perhaps we should say unusual fires, 
occurring from year to year, there have been general conflagrations which in 
a day or a night have practically wiped out the business section of the town. 

.Previous to 1S80 the business portion of the village was principally 
located on Fnsley street, parallel with the Grand Rapids & Indiana railroad, 
north and south of Kdgerton, street. On the night of December 31, 1883, 
fire broke out in the building occupied for a store and residence by O. J. 
Knap]) at about nine o'clock in the evening. .It was bitterly cold and a sharp 
wind was blowing, making it very uncomfortable for those engaged in con- 
testing the progress of the flames. The only water obtainable for the use 
of the bucket brigade was from two or three wells in the vicinity, at which 
willing hands worked the pumps incessantly. The fire gained steadily and it 
looked as though the whole town was doomed. 

The Grand Rapids fire department was notified by telegraph and imme- 
diate aid was asked for. Prompt action was taken there and a steam fire 
engine was sent here by special train, accompanied by a force of trained 
firemen. There were two or three old fire cisterns which had been built when 
the local hand engine had been purchased, but these had fallen into disuse 
and what little water was in them was exhausted in a very few moments 


by the steamer. A line of hose was then laid to the river. The lire did not 
get north of Edgerton street — on Ensley street, Coburn's Exchange and all 
north of it being spared — but south from the Exchange every building- on 
the street was wiped out coinpletelv. These comprised the following: 

A two-story building on the corner owned by \Y. H. Lovely, followed 
on the south by a two-story building used for jewelry store and living rooms 
by a man named I'ratt. Xext was the grocery and restaurant of J. R. 
Abbott, and beyond this the furniture store of Austin Barber. Then came 
the old hotel which was run at the time by a man named M'abil, and beyond 
that a saloon operated by Dan Hartnett, formerly of Trufant. On the 
further corner was the old Howard House, operated by Ed. billeo, now of 
Luther. Xot a vestige of this entire block was left standing. East on 
Edgerton street, on both sides, raged the (ire, eating up one building after 
another. These comprised a small building where Herold's brick block now 
stands, which, was occupied with a restaurant by Mrs. R. (i. Ouick and son; 
next, on the east, was a two-story frame building used as a grocery by Sam 
Sweet, the upper rooms being occupied by Sam Mankin and family. Xext 
was a tuo-story frame building owned by (). J. Knapp and the second floor 
occupied by himself and family. On the ground floor Mr. Knapp conducted 
a grocery store. Jt was in this building where the fire originated from a 
defective chimney. A. 1'. Thomas had a line law office on the first floor in 
the next building, with Captain Robinson's justice court upstairs. Peter 
Stevens and his brother, l ; rank, owned the two-story frame next east and 
lived overhead. Their shoe shop was on the ground floor. On the corner, 
where 11. M. Oibbs' store now stands, was a drug store owned by Dr. John 
R. Hathaway and Sid V. Bullock. 

The lire went no farther east than this corner, on White street, but on 
the south side of Edgerton street, opposite the block just mentioned was a 
whole row of frame buildings that were destroyed. On the Edgerton and 
White street corner was a two-story frame building owned and occupied 
by Broas & Collins, as a general store. "Maje" Key had a tailoring estab- 
lishment upstairs. M. H. Jenner had a building next west, where he had a 
jewelry store: next west was the old Union block. The lower rooms were 
used, the east by Mrs. C. E. Murray's millinery store, and the west by 
"Hilly" Wilson's market. Murrays lived over their store, and the Masonic 
lodge was on the third floor. Xext was the line grocery store of Erank O. 
Lord, with offices upstairs. Adjoining and on the corner by the allev. where 
Nagler's drug store now stands, was a frame building which had been 
moved there from another location by Thomas Quick and occupied bv his 


son, J. 15. Ouick (now of Seattle), with a stock of drugs. There was a doe- 
tor's office overhead. Xext west of the alley was a building owned and 
occupied by Mitch Hewings with a grocery. Adjoining it was a big L -shaped 
building, owned by Dan Miller, running back about seventy-five feet and 
turning east, facing the alley, in the rear of the corner building. Mr. and 
Mrs. Lvman Townsend occupied this for a restaurant and bakery. The next 
two lots were vacant, and on the corner, across from Coburn's Exchange, 
was a two-story frame building, which was at that time occupied by a saloon, 
owned bv \V. fl. Lovely. South from Broas & Collins' store were three 
buildings owned by Solomon Lisk. All were destroyed. 

Howard City was no laggard in those days. Its citizens were men of 
action, and before the embers of (he great fire had cooled preparations were 
on foot looking to a rebuilding of the burned district in a more substantial 
manner than before. 

The village council met and promptly enacted a lire ordinance, estab- 
lishing lire limits within which the erection of no wooden building would 
be permitted, and had this been rigidly enforced the town would be the better 
for it today. In the main it was observed, and a majority of the new blocks 
built thereafter were tine looking, substantial, two-story brick structures, 
which stand today a credit to the enterprise and pluck of their owners. In 
a number of instances, however, petitions were made by those who had lost 
all in the fire, for permission to put up frame buildings for temporary use, 
to later be replaced by brick stores. After more or less contention these 
requests were granted and although seventeen years have since elapsed the 
little frame buildings, more or less surreptitiously added to and improved 
since, still stand and are likely to for years to come. They furnish a place 
to do business, it is true, and to have denied them the privilege of construc- 
tion would have, been rather severe upon the builders, but had all l>een 
treated alike and the ordinance adhered to. Howard City would have today 
one of the handsomest business streets o^ any town in .Michigan of like popu- 

John )\. Ouick. Frank O. Ford, John C. Collins, R. H. O'Donald. Peter 
Stevens. A. V. Thomas, (). J. Knapp and Richard Perry erected fine two- 
storv brick blocks the year following the fire, and the next year Flenry Hen- 
kel also put a fine block of the same character on the west lot, adjoining the 
allev. TT. G. Coburn also built the big skating rink which was afterward 
converted into a livery barn. 

Another destructive fire was that which occurred on Sunday, May 19, 
1889, starting in a back room of a grocery store owned and occupied by 


Cas]>er Schutt, next east of where Lngleman's store now is, on the south side 
of Kdgerton street, east from White street. There were four store build- 
ings in this block and a brick church owned hy the Tree-Will Baptists, on 
the next corner east, where the Congregational church now stands. There 
was also a solid block of frame buildings on the opposite side of the street, 
from White to Lincoln streets, including the big opera house block, and 
these were all destroyed, as were also the residences of A. C. White and 
S. W Bullock, where now stands the homes of A. O' Donald and H. M. 
(iibbs; also the residence of John I'). Morton, where IT. Steenman's house is; 
the residence of A. Booth, on the lot now occupied by that of John Collins. 
Si\, and the residence of J. W. Bullock and a vacant building owned by 
James Milne, on White street. Other buildings caught lire several times but 
were saved. Those destroyed in the south side business block were J. W. 
Lovely's hardware store, on the corner, X. W. Mather's bank, with Dr. J. 
Olds' dental office and living rooms overhead, the S. C. Pell building, occu- 
pied by the Robbie Sisters' millinerv store and the American Express office 
and Bell telephone exchange on the ground iloor and for living rooms on the 
second floor by Mr. and Mrs. C. lb Weidman. Xcxt east of this was the 
store of Casper Schutt. where the Ore started. He lived over the store, but 
with his family was visiting in the country when the lire occurred. 

Next east of this was a warehouse owned by J. W. Lovely, and next 
following the intervening vacant lots, was the Kree-Will Baptist church, 
with a small frame house in the rear. On the north side of the street, on the 
corner, where now stands the two-story brick store of C. A. YanDenbcrg, 
with the office of the Howard Cily Record on the second floor, was the store 
building owned by Mrs. Carrie King, and occupied by D. N. Cornell's meat 
market. Dr. S. E. Morgan lived upstairs. Alex Denton's grocery was in 
the. next store east, where the old postoffice and Col. J. Burtch's drug store 
had formerly been. Next came Cay lord & Pipp's hardware and shoe store 
in the west room and Mrs. M. L. Gaylord's dry-goods store in the east one. 
Dr. James Totten's office. D. C. Mosher's law office, the Grand Army of the 
Republic post hall and the opera house on second floor. 

John C. Coats had a blacksmith shop next on the east, followed by J. 
R. Abbott's news depot and residence. Then came C. W. ferry's law office 
and Adams Express office, conducted by Merton J. .1 Tills, who was also city 
clerk. Next was August Fuhnnan's shoe shop and residence and on the 
corner was a two-story building with residences in the rear, owned by A. TT. 
Avers. The store was occupied by Dr. H. P. Fuller and the second floor 


contained the living rooms of Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Lavene. Fred Booth 
lived in the residence in rear of store. 

.Following this lire the people began to arouse to the importance of 
getting lire protection. The Record, which came under the control of B. J. 
Lowrev, in the autumn uf 1885, had long advocated this, and shown the 
practicability of a municipal ownership of waterworks in villages, and the 
village council decided to submit to the people a proposition to build a water- 
works system. Horace M. Menkee was village president .at that time and 
C. C. Messenger, B. J. Lowrev. J. A. Collins. Fred Ashley, G. M. Doty and 
Henry Kinnee, the board of trustees. 

A special election was called, to be held on November 27, and a propo- 
sition was submitted to the people to bond the village for $8,000 to be 
expended for the purchase and laying of a system of waterworks. The 
usual contention followed, vigorous opposition being put up by those who 
thought it would enormously increase taxation. The question was submit- 
ted, however, and carried overwhelmingly. The vote was a very light one, 
only i<)$ ballots being cast. Of these i$j voted in favor and only 58 against. 
C. C. Messenger, B. J. Low cry and J. A. Collins were appointed by the 
council as a committee to visit a number of places having waterworks to 
learn wh<!t kind of a plant would be most desirable to purchase. The com- 
mittee visited Alma, St. Louis, Clare, Farwell and Reed City, and after care- 
ful investigation reported in favor of iron pipes for water mains, a direct 
pressure system and two large pumps each with a capacity, when operating 
alone, equal to any ordinary demand that might be made upon the system. 
Later, bids were advertised for, and a contract let to M. Walker for $12,000 
for furnishing and putting in a waterworks system, equipped with two of his 
high pressure pumps, each with a pumping capacity of 750,000 gallons every 
twenty-four hours, and so arranged that either one can W. worked independ- 
ently of the other, or both at once, with a combined capacity of 1,500,000 
gallons in twenty- four hours. 

In the original plant there were two miles of water mains, principally 
ten, six and four-inch and a small quantity of two-inch on short circuits on 
side streets. Another mile was laid later. The building was erected, the 
pumps, boilers and equipment put in, the mains all laid, hose cart and hose 
and hook and ladder outfit purchased and the works were tested and accepted 
the following spring. 

Later it was voted to bond the village for an additional $3,000 for 
completing the plant, and two extensions of the mains have since been made, 


so that nearly every portion of the village has fire protection. Payment of 
the bonds has been in progress for several years, so that the entire bonded 
debt of the village today is only $5,500. The waterworks are now self- 
sustaining, and have several times saved the town from threatened annihila- 
tion. The (I rand Rapids & Indiana and Pere Marquette railroads take the 
water supply for their engines and depot property from the village and pay 
therefor an annual rental. 

Howard City has today a population of 1,100 people. The town is no 
longer a lumber town. The lumber cut was finished years ago and its last 
saw-mill is long since gone. Tamarack river, which has swept many mil- 
lions of dollars worth of logs toward the mills, has forgotten the turbulency 
caused in its water in those days and is today stocked with beautiful speckled 
bmok trout, where the anglers make splendid catches of that best of all 
game fish every spring - . 

The business blocks are mostlv substantial two-story brick structures 
with commodious basements and beautiful plate-glass fronts and some of the 
best and largest stocks of goods found north of Grand Rapids are found 
therein. The streets are broad and well shaded and the town contains many 
beautiful and substantial modern homes with tasty and well-kept lawns. The 
town is lighted with electricity in both business and residence districts. 
There is a private system of sewerage in the business section and in portions 
of the residence sections of the town. I -To ward City is one of the leading 
potato markets in this part of the state, and this count}", Montcalm, is third 
in Michigan in the magnitude of this great Michigan product. The crop of 
1 go 1 in this county is in excess of one million bushels. 

The waterworks system comprises an equipment of a size usually found 
only in towns 8.000 to 10.000 population. Five streams 100 feet high can 
be thrown continuously at the same time. 

In the way of railroad facilities, the Grand Rapids & Indiana. ( the 
fishing line) running direct to Mackinaw. Petoskey and the other northern 
resorts, passes through the town and is intersected here by two lines of the 
Pere Marquette system — one from Howard City to Detroit, the other from 
Howard City to Saginaw. The Pere Marquette also has a line surveyed 
from Howard City west to strike Lake Michigan at Ludington to the north 
and Muskegon to the south. Right-of-way on this extension was purchased 
and the indications are that the road will be built. 


As a trading point Howard City has few equals and no superiors in 
(his part of the state. There is a cash market for everything produced 
within the trading radius, prices rule high and on the other hand goods in 
the stores are sold on close margins and trade is correspondingly large. 



One of the remarkable institutions of Howard City is the "Be 

Home." which has come into existence in response to the actual needs of 
the community, i'arents came to Mr. and Mrs. Besemet and implored 
them to take their children, and thus the home grew to its present propor- 
tions. I'arents who had children in the home spread the goods news among 
others. During the. past live years eight)- children have been cared for. 
The Besemet Home has a state license, but the institution is not incorpor- 
ated. It frequently happens that a home is broken up by the death of one 
of the parents or by desertion of the father or mother. In such cases Mr. 
and Mrs. Besemet take the children and accept whatever is proffered by 
way of aid to support. When conditions have changed and the home can 
l>e re-established, the children are returned to their parents or parent. While 
children remain at the home the\ are properly clothed, provided with good, 
wholexnne food and sent to the public school and to Sabbath school. No 
solicitations for assistance have ever been made. 

Conger, which lies in section I _\ of Reynolds township, on the Grand 
J\apids & Indiana railroad, was platted on March 5. [H72. This was platted 
for John Conger, proprietor, 'hence the name) by A. K. Upton, surveyor. 
At the time of the laying out of this town it was the location of a saw- 
mill, but owing to the nearness to Howard City, which is only three and one- 
half miles away, and, with the exhaustion of the timber, it ceased to exist 
as a commercial point, and at present exists only in name. 


Rl C Fl 1 ,A N D TO W -\' S J 1 1 P. 

The petition asking for the detachment of township 12 north, range 5 
west, from Ferris township, and organizing it into a separate township, was 
dated on November 3, r86g, at Ferris. Ill is bore the following names: 
Jacob ('. Schoonover. George Hanes, John E. Evans, Joshua Painter, Rufus 
Sanders. Levi Johnson. Homer Hart, George Campbell, Elias Confer, Ben- 
jamin Brace, Samuel /ink. John M. Daniels, P.. 1). Throop. S. S. Woodard. 
Egbert P. Heath. Isaac Swain. Pdmond Hare, John Shaffer, James Finch, 
Samuel Shaffer, Gilbert P. Chatfield, C. M. Woodard. Christopher Hare. 
Samuel Corder, Archibald Washburn, Daniel F. Hare. Ahimanz Boston, 
Andrew Zuver, Joseph Paughlin and N. B. Scott. The name chosen was 
Richland, and the first election was held at the house of Joshua Painter, 
with Jacob B. Schoonover, John F. Evans and Samuel Zink acting as elec- 
tion judges. At this first election the following persons were elected: Super- 
visor. Jacob Schoonover; clerk, John E. Evans; treasurer, Samuel Zink; 
justices of the peace, Samuel Zink and Joshua Painter. 

Richland is the northeast township of Montcalm count}'. It is bounded 
on the north bv Isabella county, east bv Gratiot county, south by the town- 
ship of Ferris, of which, until rN68. it formed a part, and on the west by the 
township of Home, it is known as town 12 north, range 5 west. 

The Pine river, the source of which is in the northeast quarter of sec- 
tion 17, where two small streams, known, respectively, as the north and 
south branch, unite to form it. flows eastward across sections t(5, 1.5. T4 and 
13. The only bodies of water of any considerable size are Deaner lake, 
named after the first settler in the township, and situated on the north part 
of section 35 and the south part of section 26; Bass Rock lake and Pickerel 
lake, both partially situated on section 20. The township presents every 
variety of ^oil, as is indicated by the great variety of timber. In the south- 
western part it is light and sand}', and the timber is almost exclusivelv pine. 
This part of the township has been the scene of several severe forest fires, 
by which much valuable timber was destroyed. Nearer the river the soil 
becomes a black sandy loam of wonderful productiveness. North of the 


river beech and maple are the leading varieties, and the soil, though in places 
light, is generally excellent. The lumbering interest was the principal source 
of employment when the township was first organized, and the demand for 
farm produce has consequently furnished a good market for home produc- 


Section j — Samuel Mott Leggett, Joshua Dunn, James B. Roberts, 
Morris Dunn, Amasa Rust, James C. Davenport, Warren A. Sherwood. 
Section 2 — Samuel M. Leggett. Kzra Rust, James Hay. Ammi W. Wright, 
James Hay. "Warren A. Sherwood, Kzra Rust. James Hay. Valorous A. 
Payne, Dellway Jones, Solomon Lapaugh. Section 3 — Valorus A. Payne, 
Joshua Dunn, Daniel Strayer, Kzra Rust, James Hay. Solomon Lapaugh. 
Hampton Rich. Section 4--Ambrose L. Soule, Yalorus A. Payne. James 
II. Hill, Joshua Dunn, Charles Merrill. Section 5 — David Rust, Ambrose 
L. Soule, Sansford K. Wilder. Ambrose T .. Soule, Krederick Dunn. Morris 
Dunn, Israel K. Richardson, Joshua Dunn, Charles Merrill. Section 6 — 
William 1.1. Walker, Joshua Dunn, George W. Young, Alexander K. Bell. 
Charles Merrill. Section 7 — Ambrose Soule, Joshua Dunn, Alexander F. 
Bell, John Grout'ant. John W. Dunn. William C. McKenzie, Chester Wal- 
ker. Section 8 — Frederick Dunn. Israel K. Richardseu, Joshua Dunn. Sec- 
tion <_>- William A. Alvord, Joshua Dunn, Israel K. Richardson, John W. 
Dunn, Charles Merrill. Section 10 — Klijah B. Benton, Kleazer Blackmail, 
Valorus A. Payne, Solomon Lapaugh, Hampton Rich. S. A. Fuller. Xelson 

M. Schoonover. Section tt — James Hicks, Robbennolt, George W. 

Doming. Valorus A. Payne, Ammi VV. Wright. Section T2 — David W. 
Rust. Charles Merrill, Lucy Pritchard, Wesley Castle. Section r3— -A. 
Rust. David W. Rust. Charles Bradley. Lansford F. Wilder. Josiah Rogers, 
George W. Myers, George W. Wright. Section 14 — .Money Rust, David 
W. Rust, James Nichols, Klijah Gray, Levi R. Walkins. David Dutt. Sec- 
tion 15 — .-Money Rust. .Amasa Rust. Klijah B. Benton, Kleazer Blackman. 
William A. Alvord, Josiah Painter. Section t6-- Valorus A. Payne, Ammi 
W. Wright. Hamilton Pritchard, Isaiah Swain, Jabez Hawkins. Jacob W. 
Stinchlield, Charles II. Davis. John W. Doane, Minerva Pritchard, Kugene 
Chappel. Section \j — Charles Merrill. Loren K. Hewitt. Lorenzo B. Cur- 
tis. Jabez Hawkins. Section 18- -Ambrose S. Soule, Joshua Dunn. Section 
rq — Charles Merrill, Warren A. Sherwood, Samuel M. Leggett. Joshua 
Dunn. Frederick Dunn, David Paddock, Daniel R. Sullivan. Section 20 — 
W. H. Lillie, George W. Bennett, David Paddock. James Nichols, Charles 


Merrill. Frederick Dunn. David R. Sullivan. Section 21 — Charles Merrill, 
Ambrose Soules. I.ynian Hoover, Yalorus A. Payne, Joshua Dunn, bred 
Dunn, Andrew X. Lyon. Henry I.. Hole\ ink. Phineas Porten. Section 22 — • 
David \V. Rust. William A. Alvord. Joshua Dunn. Robert Wood. Auntwine 
Mier. \mmi W. Wright, William A. Alvord. Henry P. Holcomb, 10. A. Rip 
ley. Section- 23 — Alone}- Rust, David W. Rust, Fleazcr Plackman. \\ r illiam 
A. Alvord. Yalorus A. Payne, Joshua Dunn, Christopher Cleverton, Charles 
Merrill. Section 24- -.Money Rust, David \Y. Rust, John A. Pobbins, Will- 
iam W. Murphy, James Nichols. Josiah Newman, W. A. Alvord, Yalorus 
A. Payne, Charles Merrill. Section 25- --.Money Rust. Klizabeth McNabb. 
John A. Robbins. Almon Townsend. Ransom Phelps. Section 26- -Samuel 
M. Feggett, .[Elizabeth McNabb, Charles Deaner. Joshua Dunn. Section 27 
-Samuel M. Feggett. Joshua Dunn. Auntwine Mier, John W. Dunn. Henrv 
P. Holcomb. Section 28 — Ambrose P. Soule, Yalorus A. Payne. Joshua 
Dunn, Morris Dunn. Samuel Zink. Ceritt S. Ward. Section 20 — Samuel 
M. Feggett, Yalorus A. Payne, Ralph Ply. Section 30 — Samuel M. Leg- 
gelt, John M. Daniel, Armand Rhodes. John M. Daniels. Philander Howe. 
George IP 1 sham. Joshua Dunn. Joshua Pair. Amasa Sheldon. Section 31 
- llevey R. Woodworth. F. K. Wood. Section 32 — Samuel Daniels. Peter 
Strink, [Vastus Fdgvtt. F. K. Wood, Ralph Ply, John W. Doane, Emma A. 
Ripley. P. H. Patter, M. Ouiuce. William A. Murray. Section 33- George 
Danes. Rupell Waterman. Penjamm D. Prace. Samuel Zink. Plias Cordu. 
Section 34- Samuel M. Feggett, I -11 i Penton. Sleplicn I). Francis. Jacob 
Schoonover. Section 35- Pzra Rust. James Hay. Ambrose P. Soule, Ches- 
ter Paxter, Pli Penton, Rust. Ch.arles Merrill. Section 36- Alonev 
Rust. Ambrose P. Soule. Chester Paxter. Almond Townsend. Frederick 
Dunn. Joshua Dunn. Henry M. Martin. Nelson Green. 

Charles Deaner was the lir^t settler in the township o\ Richland. He 
was born and reared in Wurtemberg. Germany, whence he came to New 
York City in 1841). There he remained several years, and having acquired 
a slight knowledge of the FnglPh language, ventured to remove to Frie 
county. New York. After a number of years he moved to Ionia county. 
Michigan, and by frugality saved sufficient means to procure a voke of oxen, 
a year's provisions, and eighty acres of land at seventy-five cents per acre, 
which he entered in the summer of i860, and which war situated on the 
south part of section 26, in Richland township, hi order to establish his 


claim it was necessary that he build a cabin and pass one night in it. Being 
entirely unacquainted with the use of the axe, this cabin was an exceedingly 
primitive structure, comprised, as it was, of poles laid up something in the 
form of a corn crib, with a small opening for a door, and covered with 
brush. After remaining in this cabin the required time he returned to Ionia, 
where he remained until the next May. when he employed two teams to fetch 
his family and goods to the new home. Upon reaching Bell Town the driv- 
ers unloaded his goods and on account of the bad roads, would go no 
farther. Mr. Deaner then employed others to complete the journey. 

Upon reaching the house of David Strayer, in Gratiot county, this being 
the end of the road. Mr. Deaner was compelled to underbrush a road from 
this place to the land which he had entered. Airs. Deaner walked the entire 
distance, carrying the youngest child, then but six months old. and leading a 
little boy of live years. Nearly exhausted they reached their destination, 
the land of promise in a wilderness of woods, three miles from their nearest 
neighbor. But their troubles were not yet ended. The teams, which were 
soon unloaded, set out immediately to return. They were scarcely out of 
hearing when the cabin, in which everything of use had been stored, took 
fire and was destroyed. With much difficulty a barrel of pork and some 
other articles were saved from the flames. As it was. their bedding, wearing 
apparel, dishes and household utensils were destroyed, which was a most 
serious loss to them with their limited means. The accident occurred from 
a fire which had been kindled by Henry Meller, the father of Mrs. Deaner, 
who. wishing to light his pipe, had indiscreetly applied a match to a brush 
heap near the bouse. From this the fire spread rapidly, and threatened at 
once to envelop the neighboring timber, but: after the destruction of the 
cabin it was checked. 

The first night passed by a white family in Richland, therefore, was 
one of extreme hardship. The air was cold, and the rain at intervals poured 
down in torrents. With no covering or shelter the situation may better be 
imagined than described. The inability of Mr. Deaner to use the axe has 
already been referred to. but by the assistance of Joshua Strayer, who helped 
him at first in getting a description of his land, and who ever after proved 
a sincere friend, he stretched some sheets over poles, thus making a passable 
hut in dry weather, but a very poor protection from wind and rain. In 
about three weeks he succeeded, without a helping hand, in raising a cabin 
and covering it with shakes. Tt served without a floor during the summer. 


The first season Mr. Deaner planted some potatoes and garden vegetables, 
but being planted late they barely returned the seed. 

The next spring- he set out the first fruit trees in the township and 
planted corn and potatoes, which yielded abundantly. Having as yet no 
plow, and the ground being full of roots and brush, he chopped with an old 
axe little square holes in the ground and thus planted each hill of corn and 
potatoes. The next winter several parties of men having camped in the 
vicinity and engaged in getting out logs for the Saginaw market, he found 
a ready sale for all he. could spare. Thus, while many others have made 
their homes within the limits of Richland, and have soon become discouraged 
and removed, thus losing time and the benefit of several years of labor and 
privation, Mr. Deaner closely adhered to his original purpose and became 
entirely successful. Some years after his arrival a great many settlers came 
to the township, but comparativelv few remained long enough to make any 
permanent improvements. A man named Waterman pre-empted one hun- 
dred and sixty acres and built a cabin, but soon sold his claim to Elias ('or- 
der, who also soon after sold and removed from the township. George 
Baylies settled on the southeast quarter of section J3, and remained long 
enough to girdle the splendid pine trees on about twenty acres and sowed it 
to wheat among the standing trees. He remained but four years. 

The next two settlers, Joshua Painter and John E. Evans, were more 
permanent, and remained in the township. Painter entered forty acres on 
the southeast quarter of section 15: Evans took the adjoining forty acres 
on section 16. They also, together, purchased a number of other tracts. 
Mr. Evans was extensively engaged in lumbering, having put in the Sagi- 
naw market, in the aggregate, twenty millions of feet. Tie joined the arniv 
from Ohio, being in the One Hundred and Twenty-eighth Regiment, Ohio 
Volunteer "Infantry, more than two years. Mr. Painter engaged in business 
in Vestaburg. Another settler, Levi Watkins, settled in the east part of the 
township in 1866. Samuel Zink came in shortly afterward and later moved 
to Vestaburg. 


The village of Vestaburg was named after the wife of its founder, 
G. W. O'Donnell. It is situated on the northeast quarter of the southeast 
quarter of section 23, on land formerly owned by Morris Dun, a lumber 
merchant of Seville, Gratiot county. In August, 1874, Mr. O'Donnell pur- 
chased this quarter, and came with his family to the township and started a 


lumber camp, rafting the logs to Saginaw by means of the Pine river, which 
is about two miles north of the village. 

After establishing a camp and putting up buildings for his men, he 
applied and was commissioned postmaster under Marshall Jewell, on Septem- 
ber 14, 1875. This was the first postoilice in the township. In the winter 
of 1876-77 .Mr. O'Donnell employed Eliza Andrews to teach a school, which 
was the second one taught south of the river and the first in the village. 
The railroad was completed in the fall of 1875, and the 29th of October, 
Mr. O'Donnell platted and laid out the village of Vestaburg. The first 
business house established was a shingle-mill by Starkweather & Alger, to 
whom Mr. O'Donnell gave a block for a location for their mill. Tt was 
burned after coming into the possession of George XV. Palmer. 

William Starkweather soon after opened a small stock of dry-goods and 
groceries in the building later occupied as a store by James W. Robinson. 
The postoffice was removed from the lumber camp to this place. George 
W. O'Donnell, the founder of Vestaburg, was born in Rutland county, 
Vermont, whence he came to Saginaw in 1854, and engaged in lumbering. 
Eater he engaged in the real estate business in Vestaburg. 

After the passing of the lumber industry Vestaburg- settled down to a 
quiet existence, but being situated, as it is, in the center of a good farming 
district, it has maintained its early improvements and in the last years has 
taken on quite a growth. Each year there are dwellings erected and it has 
become, a trading center for this part of the township. Tt has a population 
of approximately three hundred. The business interests of the town con- 
sist of four grocen- stores, which are owned by the following persons: 
Clarence Caris, John Thurlby, Howard & Bcrnius and TTiller's grocery. The 
Wallace, Orr & Company's Bank has a good patronage in this part, as also 
the only elevator in the town, which is owned by the same firm. Ed 'Hard- 
ing keeps a general line of hardware, and Hornbeck Brothers keep an agri- 
cultural store. Dr. AT. C. Hubbard is the only physician in the township, 
and also owns a drug store. 

There are two meat, markets, owned by Nickerson & Son and a Mr. 
Gould. Earl Walker has a confectionery store and also runs a hotel. Day- 
ton Gorsuck operates a creamery station and poultry house. Mrs. Dewitt 
Murtage keeps a general line of millinery. B. B. Thorpe keeps a jewelrv 
store. I r red Cornell a feed and livery barn. There are two blacksmith 
shops, owned by David Marlin and Mr. Worden. There is also a pickle 
salting station located here, which is owned by Albert McGuire & Company. 


Vestaburg is an excellent potato market, which business is carried on by 
Frank Cwnmings and Kugene Lane. George Peasley is railroad agent and 
Charles Xickerson is present postmaster. A Mr. McDowell keeps the only 
barber shop. The first elevator built in Vestaburg, and in fact this part of 
the township, was erected and owned by Dr. A. D. Ballon in T906. There 
are two churches, Dunkard and Christian, located in Vestaburg. The Pere 
Marquette railroad passes through Vestaburg and has proved quite a stimulant 
to the interests of the town. 



The township of Sidney is situated geographically in the central part 
of the county, it is bounded on the north by Douglass, on the east by 
Evergreen, on the south by Fairplain and on the west by Montcalm. The 
petition for the erection of a new township was dated on November n, 
1856, and comprised the territory of town 10 north, range 7 west, and bore 
the following names: Abner Hall, Lyman Johnson, Samuel Gillmore, Will- 
iam Lampman, Nathaniel Ferris, J. V. Noah, Charles Kellogg*. H. Gillmore, 
John Byan, George F. Noah, William II. Noah, Orrin Phelps, S. Butter- 
worth. C. IT. Miel, James Light, S. Wheeler, J. Meginley, C. E. She'pard, J. 
Bradish, H. Amsbury, A. Frederick, J. W. Drake, A. B. Amsbury, George 
Fleck, Phineas Swift and N. Towsley. This petition asked that town 10 
north, range 7 west, be set off from the township of Fairplain and organized 
into a separate township. The petitioners asked that the name of Nelson or 
Bath be given to the newly-erected township. This petition was presented 
to the board of supervisors at their regular meeting* in January, 1857. 

The board of supervisors acted upon the above ]>etition and granted the 
prayer of the petitioners on January 5, 1857, in respect to the official 
organization of said territory into a new township, but in the selection of a 
name for the newly-created township it seems that the supervisors had their 
own idea on this matter and chose the name of Sidney. Just why they 
should reject the names suggested by the petitioners and choose this name is 
not known. The first election was ordered to be held at the house of Joshua 
Y. Noah on the 6th of April, 1857. At this meeting Joshua V. Noah, 
William Lampman and Oriu Phelps were appointed to act as election judges 
at this meeting. 

Originally, as with all the townships in this part of the county, Sidney 
was densely timbered, pine, beech and maple being the principal varieties, 
and until 1855 i* s forests were comparatively free from underbrush. But 
iti the latter year a terrific tornado swept through portions of the township, 
destroying the heavier timber on thousands of acres and causing damages 
to the extent of thousands of dollars. Verifying the proverb that "trou- 


hie never comes single handed," the following year a very destructive fire 
swept that part of the country laid waste hy the storm and this raged for 
several months, destroying much valuahle timher that had heen left standing". 
As a result of the devastations, a second growth of timher soon made its 
appearance everywhere, which later hecame almost impenctrahle and owing 
to the great amount of work necessarv to put this land under cultivation, it 
impeded the settlements greatly. 

Although the marks of this tornado and fire were visihle for many years 
after, there were many large tracts of pine which were left uninjured, and 
in consequence Sidney ranked very high for many years in the pine-lumher 
industry and this was her principal resource. With the destruction and 
removal of the pine forests the inhahitants gradually shifted from the pur- 
suit of lumhering to those of agriculture, and rapid developments in this 
new line were soon made. The soil was naturally good, and with the 
advanced methods of farming and also the care taken in the huilding up of 
the land it has become well adapted to agricultural pursuits and ranks well 
among the other farming townships of the county. 


In the early day the fine timher of Sidney attracted the attention of 
shingle makers, and a nurnher of their cahius were erected before there was 
any permanent settlement in the township. The persons thus engaged were 
generally men who paid no attention whatever to property lines, regarding 
as public property any timber lands which were not closely guarded, and 
did not scruple to pitch their tents or build their shanties where ever the)'' 
considered themselves safe from interruption or discovery. 

In the summer of 1854 the first regular settler, Phineas Swift, came 
into the township and built a cabin on the northwest part of the southwest 
quarter of section 27. Tie was a native of New York, but of him little else 
is known, as he removed from the township before many others came in. 
His son, Kugene, was the first white child born in Sidney. Swift built a 
shanty, in which he made shingles, and also made a small clearing and set 
out some fruit: trees before removing from the township, which he did after 
a stay of seven years. 

In the fall of 1854 Henry Gillmore, a native of New York, came to 
.Sidney. His father, Joseph Gillmore. with his wife and four children, 
removed to Nelson, Portage county, Ohio, in i8t8. where he lived until his 
death. He was among the pioneers in that county. Henry Gillmore was 


married to Lucy Merwin, daughter of Doctor Merwin, and remained in 
Ohio until he came to Sidney, in 1854, as hefore stated. He settled on the 
north half of the northwest quarter of section 28, and entered also eighty 
acres on the southwest quarter of section 21. He built the first permanent 
dwelling in the township, and during the winter and early spring, assisted 
by his sons, George \V. and Noble H.. the former being then seventeen 
years of age, built a large shingle shop for the purpose of making shaved 
shingles. They also cleared about three acres of land, which in the spring 
he planted to corn, potatoes and vegetables, together with a small piece of 
flax, the ^em\ for which he had brought from Ohio. During the summer 
lie cleared seven acres, which he sowed to wheat in the fall. To Henry 
Gillmore, therefore, must be attributed the honor of planting the first garden 
and sowing the first grain in the township of Sidney. The following spring 
he set out the lir^t orchard. 

Theodore Gillmore, one of the contracting parties of the first marriage 
in the township, was a member ni this family. He was married to l.uinice 
Dow. 1 lomer Miles, a justice of the peace in Fairplain, officiated. It is 
said that the justice, when asked what the fee would be, replied: "About a 
dollar." Dollars were exceedingly scarce in those days, and the bridegroom 
so informed the worthy squire. Rut the field was full of pumpkins, and the 
tee was paid with a wagon load, which Mr. Gillmore hauled to Fairplain. 
Theodore Gillmore was killed in the Civil War. in the fall of 1854 Orin 
1 'helps and John flake also came to the township. The former brought a 
wife and three children, and settled on section o,. John Flake settled near 
Derby lake, where he remained until his death. Calvin Mason was also an 
early settler, but did not remain long. 

In the fall of 1855 J- ''•»■ Noah, with his son. Josiah, and a hired man 
named James Jewell, came in. They cleared and underbrushed a patch for 
crops the following spring. Mr. Noah brought his family to the township 
in the month of May, 1856. William Noah, who was married, came at the 
same time. 

On the 14th of February, r <S 5 5 , Lyman Johnson, with his wife and 
four children, came from Trumbull county, Ohio, and stopped at the house 
of Nelson Townsley in Fairplain. where he remained three months, lie then 
came to Sidney ("enter, where he pre-emptied eighty acres of land on section 
jg. Here Mr. Johnson built a good, comfortable log house, made a clearing 
and the following spring set out a number of fruit trees. He afterward 
purchased the place entered by Phineas Swift. The same winter, 1855-56, 
George Van Ness, William Fields and Edwin Lafferty came to Sidney. They 


all settled on section 20, where Van Ness lived until his death. He brought 
a large family. One son, Nelson, was killed at home by the accidental dis- 
charge of a gun. Edward was almost instantly killed in the army, being 
shot through the neck. William Fields remained in Sidney until 1862. when 
he removed to Kansas. Kdwin Latterly returned to New York. 

lii February. 1856, Ira Harlow settled, with his wife and two children — 
a son and a daughter — on the northeast, quarter of section 35. He secured 
this land in 1850 with a land warrant, having served in the Mexican War 
under General Scott. Mr. Harlow was horn in Livingston county. New 
York, in which place his father was an early settler. They came to Wayne 
county, Michigan, and settled in Van Huron township in 1835. Here he 
was married to Ann Mcintosh. At the first town meeting he was elected 
supervisor and held the office seven years. At the same time he came to 
Sidney, his brother-in-law, John Hrown, entered forty acres on the south- 
east quarter of section 35. lie remained in the township- but a short time. 

Dr. S. Derby, who came from Fairplain (in which township he was the 
first physician), settled on section 10. near the southeast shore of the lake 
which now bears his name. He built a cabin and remained a number of 
years, lie. was one of those characters sometimes met with on the frontier 
— a genius in his way. Hesides being a good physician for those days, he 
was a gunsmith, could repair a watch and clock, and was, in fact, a jack-of- 
all-trades. lie subsequently went north, where, it is said, after having moved 
for the fortieth time, he settled down, and kept a hotel. 

Dr. John Bradish was also one of the first physicians in Sidney, and 
although his methods were peculiar and strongly given to superstition, he is 
considered on the whole, as having been successful in his profession. He 
moved west, where he died. 

William Lampman and Aimer Hall came to Sidney in 1855. ' ne 
former settled on the southwest quarter of section $6. He served in the 
army during the Civil War, and after its close he continued to reside in 
Sidney until 1880, when he returned to New York, his native state. Abner 
Hall came from Kngland in the fall of 1856. He also served in the armv, 
and was wounded at the battle of Hatcher's Run. At one time he worked 
for James Cheffin, of Fairplain. for fifty cents per day, when potatoes were 
one dollar and fifty cents to two dollars per bushel. Among the pioneers of 
Sidney also were Sylvester Barrett, who settled in the western part of the 
township, and who, joining the army, was killed in battle; Calvin Mann, 
Alanson Snow and West Drake. Snow entered one hundred and sixtv acres 


on section 34, with a land warrant given for the military service of his son, 
who died in the Mexican War. 

The first death in Sidney was that of Mrs. John Ryan, who. with her 
family, in the year 1855, settled on the east half of the southeast quarter of 
section 21. Here she was buried, but her remains were removed to the 
cemetery at the center in the spring- of r88o. 

Dr. (hauncey E. Shephard, who resided in Kairplain. was among the 
early physicians who practiced in this township. He usually made his rounds 
on foot, accompanied by a dog and carrying a gun. An instance is related 
in which he is said to have killed a large bear near the cabin of a settler in 
the south part of the township, binding the family absent, and having no 
means of conveying it to his home, he dragged it to a wagon which stood 
near the rude barn. Into this he finally succeeded in placing it, where it lay 
as if ready to spring upon the first passer-by. 

The next morning Archie Smith, then a lad of twelve years of age, 
with several playmates, were passing the time to the best possible advantage 
to themselves, when he, followed by a companion, ran up the wagon tongue 
into the box where .Bruin had been placed the evening before. As if par- 
alyzed with the sight he walked straight out of the wagon, without anv 
regard whatever as to where he placed his feet. When Doctor Shephard 
returned with a team to take his prize home, he found a patient who required 
his closest attention for several days. Doctor Shephard also subsequently 
lived and practiced medicine in the township of Evergreen. 

Until 1862 there was no postoffice in Sidney, the one at Stanton being - 
the nearest. On the 2Qth of September, of that year, Montgomery Blair, 
then postmaster-general, appointed Joshua V. Noah to the office, which he 
retained at his house for nine years. 


As has been stated, in 1856 large tracts of timber were prostrated by the 
wind. On the 22d and 23d of August, 1857, severe frosts killed the corn 
and all garden stuffs, except cabbage and turnips. The grass also was 
killed. The leaves changed color, and soon began to fall from the trees and 
in a short time the ground was covered with them to a depth of several 
inches. Soon a fire, which spread with wonderful rapidity, broke out in the 
timber. The dry, crisp leaves were soon burned, but the fire did not stop 
here, but worked its way down into the mould and fallen timber, and. day 
after day, during August, September, October, and part of November, the 


crash of falling trees was heard almost incessantly. At times the smoke 
hung like a pall over the whole land, shutting out the sun and rendering the 
air almost irrespirable. Nearly everything of value to the settlers was 
destroyed. Fences, stacks of hay, wagons, and everything prepared for 
winter were swept away, and it was often with the greatest 'difficulty that the 
cabins themselves were saved. 'The suffering that followed in many instances 
was intense, hut was alleviated by help from abroad. The fires continued 
until the late rains <>f the fall and winter set in and checked them. M. 1\ 
Fnllett was appointed to distribute goods to settlers in want. These goods 
were secured from the government by Jacob Ferris, who introduced a bill 
for that purpose. Some idea can 1>e gained of the suffering of these times 
when it is known that it was almost impossible to get a day's work on any 
terms. Abner Hall cleared ten acres of land, laving up the underbrush 
ready to be burned, for ten shillings per acre. Pork at this time was twenty- 
live cents per pound, corn two dollars per bushel, and other things in pro- 
portion. Ira Barlow worked for Josiah Bradish. in Fairplain. for three 
.shillings per day. and took as pay a small sheep valued at four dollars. 
.Manv left the township at this time Most of those who remained at last 
gained comfortable homes, and it is probable that, with its fertile soil and 
rapidlv developing' resources, the want and privation of earlier years will 
never again be known in Sidney. 


The original purchasers of land in Sidney township are shown in the 
following list : 

Section i — Hugh 11. Crapo, W. \Y. Crapo, Frederick Hall. Section 2 
-Augustus Paddock, Henry Crapo. W. \V. Crapo, Frederick Hall, John G. 
Williams, G. A. Wilcox. W. 11. Trowbridge. Section 3— Augustus Pad- 
dock. David Beard. Theodore P. I loyt. Section 4— H. H. Crapo, W. W. 
Crapo. G. F. Xoah, George A. Wilcox. .Martin Beebc, Albert Dorr, Fdwin 
Dorr, loshua Y. Noah, Asa D. Sherwood, Wood and Gilbert. Section 5- — 
Stephen F. Page, Jacob A. Davis, IT. H. Crapo. W. W. Crapo, James M. 
Soverhill. Section 6 — Stephen F. Page, Sarah S. Peck, David Henderson. 
Section 7 — George Possman. H. IT. ('rapo. \V. W. Crapo, George Wilcox, 
Philetas Kuhn, John Henderson. W. A. Pickney. Charles Madison, John 
Green. Section 8 — H. H. Crapo, \V. W. Crapo. George A. Wilcox, John 
Fleck. W. Coffey. W. R. Bates. William Messier. Section 9 — Orin Phelps, 
1.1. II. Crapo. W. W. Crapo, Gustavus P. Hosmer, Abigail Hadley. Sec- 


tion 10 — Augustus Paddock, George A. Pillsbury, Gustavus 1'. Mosmer, S. 
F\ Page, Sylvester Derby, Levi Camburn, JC K. Wood. Section tt — John 
Trisler, H. IT. Crapo. W. W. Cra]>o, Jacob Smith. Section 12 — Charles 
Merrill, II. H. Crapo, W. W. Crapo. Frederick Hall, George A. Wilcox, 
Pdwin Cheesbro. Section 13 — Charles Merrill, FT. H. Crapo, W. W. Crapo, 
James Terwilliger, Silas Ouiggle. Levi Gleason, Lyman Gray, Eliada Bab- 
cock, Mark (iardner, Wood and Gilbert. Royal Harrington. Section 14 — - 
William M. Chapman, George A. Pillsbury, TI. II. Crapo, W. VV. Crapo, 
Levi Gleason. .Moses (iardner, Royal Harrington. R. II. Bennett. Section 
15 — Benjamin F. I low, C. Crane, Giles Gilbert. Section 16 — Joshua V. 
Xoah, Charles Kellogg. A. B. Amsburg. Richard Amsburg. Ransom D. 
Smith, Amos L. Frenk, B. F. Bailey, John Brown, Henry Courter, Joseph 
Courter. Section 17 — David II. Flliott, Norman Hamilton, Henry Courter. 
Joseph FT. Stearns, William Harding, W. K. Bates, Flias Steel. Flmore 
Fullmer. Cornelius Courter. Fmma A. Ripley. Section 18 — John Porter, 
Hiram Rossman. Sarah S. Peck, Leonard D. Huhn, John D. Smith. Philetas 
Kuhn. Section if)— H. II. Crapo. W. W. Crapo. Pdrnund Lafferty, George 
Van Ness. William Thilds. P. J. Hardy. William L. Van Slyke.John FT. 
Van Xess. Section 20- ■— William Lampman, George Meginley, Z. B. Grover, 

A. R. Grover, John H. Van Xess, Martin T. Hawley, S. W. Tupper, AT. M. 
Sanfonl, William R. Bates. J. B. Barr. Section 2T — Samuel Monroe, George 
Ditmars. John Lampman. J. V. Noah, Lyman Johnson, Henry Gillmore. 
L. (). Smith, F/.ekiel Gable. Hezekiah Fist. William Xoah, William Shephard. 
Section 22 — Charles Merrill. Samuel .Monroe, George A. Pillsbury, John H. 
Van Ness.. Stephen Tucker, Isaiah Jervin. William F. Lacy, 1 nomas Wilson. 
S Spaulding. lunnia Ripley. Section 23 — Charles Merrill, Charles Bean, 
George A. Pillsbury, Frastus P. Brown, William LI. Chapman, Gilbert Cook, 
Samuel Starr. Helen A. Avers, W. 1). Legg. Section 24- -Charles Merrill, 
Charles Beau, Louis S. Lovell, Albert G. Sinclair, William PL Chapman, C. 
C. Darling. Frastus P. Brown, Luther Bennett. Section 25 — Charles Merrill. 
Horace Bennett, Benjamin Roosa. William B. Stone. Section 26 — Charles 
Merrill, Abner Hall. Nelson Tousley. Joseph Pitcher, John Ablx^tt. Section 
27 — Adam Ackler. Jacob Adder. Jacob Portussen, James Fox, George Spoon, 
John Dager. Charles Merrill, Samuel Monroe. D. Towsley, Phineas Swift, 
Jr.. George Macomber. Chester L. Mann, William D. Brown, L. Towsley. 
Section 28 — Paul Kendrick, Joseph C. Bailey. George A. Pillsbury, Charles 
Miel, Henry Gillmore, Albert Lobell. Section 29 — George Rossman, Edward 

B. Fdwards. Chester H. Miel. Daniel Swift. John Bates. Charles J. Colt, 


George Hall. Section 30 — Silas Hamilton, George Rossman, E. P>. Edwards, 
Henry B. Tripp, Hiram Rossman, Norman Ferris, W. S. Patrick. Section 
31 — David Pierson. George Rossman. E. B. Edwards. Charles Baker. Asa 
D. Starkweather, Xathaniel Ferris. Ezra Hamilton, Lorenzo D. Palmer, 
Jacob Ferris. Louisa Ferris, P. R. Howe. George P>. Isham, William R. 
Bates. Section 32- -William R. Bales. Alden A. Jenne, John Wheeler, 
Joseph C. Bailey. E. B. Edwards. Samuel Gillmore. Lyman Johnson, Caleb 
J. Barnes. Section 33 — Ira Davenport. Section 34 — Eranklin S. Freeman, 
Ira Davenport. Joseph C. Bailey, Welcome Butterworth, Christian Fox. 
Section 35 — Welcome Butterworth, Ira W. Barlow, Edward Mcintosh. 
Charles Merrill. Section 36— -Roda A. Lampman. Elias Peterman, Mary 
Delong, Theodore Lampman, John G. Williams. Francis Smith. Leroy 
Forbes. Era-stus P. Brown. William D. Legg. J. W. Fairfan. 


Colby was never platted and was only the location of the Colby Broth- 
ers saw-mill, which at the time of the lumber industry in this section, was 
one of the largest mills in the county. Colby was located in Sidney town- 
ship, on the present location of the Colby ranch. 


The village of Sidney, in Sidney township, dates from the coming of 
Joshua V. Noah and his two sons, Joshua, Jr., and George, to what is now 
Sidney township, in the fall of 1855. They had lived in Summit county, 
Ohio, and, seeking a desirable home in the wilderness, located land and built 
a cabin in the woods about a half mile west of the present, village. After 
spending the winter in Michigan, the father returned to Ohio in the spring 
of 1856 and brought back with him his whole family, including his son, 
William Noah, and William's wife and two children. They arrived at the 
cabin on May 15, 1856. Lyman Johnson, who had also come from Ohio, 
settled with his family a few rods south and west of the Noah cabin in 1855. 
Henry Gillmore and his family had already settled one mile south and one- 
half mile west of the village when the Noahs arrived in 1856. The Noahs 
and Gillmores were related. 

William Noah may be said to have been the first citizen of the present 
village. With his wife and two children he lived with his father until he 
built his own cabin on the site of property now owned by Lars Peter Man- 


sen ill the village of Sidney. The venerable William Noah, who is a veteran 
of the Civil War. having served valiantly as a soldier in the Twenty-first 
Regiment, Michigan Volunteer infantry, was horn in Summit county, Ohio, 
August 14. T831. In 1865, after his return from the Civil War, William 
Noah established the first store in his cabin in Sidney with money he had 
saved as a soldier, lie purchased merchandise to the value of one hundred 
dollars at Ionia and ran the store for a year or two. Later, he built a store 
for Charles Kent, of Fairplain, who was in business for one year. Kent 
became discouraged and the store reverted to Mr. Xoah, who next operated 
it for three or four years. The building erected by Mr. Noah is now the 
rear of the store occupied by Frank G. Hanson. Finally, Xoah sold the store 
to his brothers, Orange and John Noah, who had a shingle-mill just thirty 
rods west, of the village. 

Fzekiel Gable established the first saw-mill at Sidney, but after his 
untimely death, his son and William Noah had charge of the. mill, purchas- 
ing the interests of Mr. Gable's other heirs in the business. Subsequently, 
Mr. Noah took two of his own sons into the business, but one of the sons 
sold out to the other, and father and son. George, operated the mill as long 
as there was any timber, or until about iqoo. 

James Sibley opened the first blacksmith shop at .Sidney on property 
owned by William Xoah about 1870. The first physician in the village was 
Dr. F. (). Tefft, who came to Sidney a few years ago and who is still in the 
active practice of his profession. 

Sidney has two churches, the Congregational and Danish Lutheran. 
The Congregational church was established in 1887. Its first pastor was the 
Rev. Arthur Claflin, who assisted in the building of the church. It cost 
about one thousand dollars. There are at present eleven members. The 
Danish Lutheran church at .Sidney was erected about thirteen years ago. 
Before the present building was erected, the congregation met at North Sid- 
ney, one mile west and one mile north of the village. The church, which 
has a membership of twenty-one, has a resident pastor, the Rev. Waldemar 
Nielson. Its first pastor was the Rev. Rasmus Nielson, and the pastor when 
the church Mas built was the Rev. T. FT. Miller. 

There are. only two secret orders in Sidney, the Danish Brotherhood 
and Gleaners. Both are well established. 

The industries of the village include a cheese factory, of which R. R. 
Beam is president, and Nelson Lamb, secretary-treasurer. It has an output 
of about forty thousand pounds annually and is a co-operative enterprise. 


Libby, McXeil & Lihby have a pickle station at Sidney, and Charles Burgess 
owns a large elevator and deals in coal, lime, cement, lumber and tile. Sid- 
ney ships nearly two hundred carloads of potatoes to distant markets every 

The three general stores in the village arc owned by Hans Peterson & 
Son, Frank G. Hanson and A. G. Grosvenor. The meat market is operated 
by Carl Tyrell, and the two blacksmith shops are operated by James Ander- 
son and.Waldemar Thomscn. The village also has two barber shops and a 
drug store, run by R. Finch. The postmaster is X. J. Rossman. 



WinJjcld township, as described on the government survey, consists of 
township 12 north, range (> west, and is bounded on the north by Mecosta 
county, on the east by Cato township, on the south by Maple Valley, and on 
the west by Reynolds. Upon the erection of Maple Valley, Winfield took 
on its present boundaries. 

A petition, signed by I). K. Knight. F. R. Plleuwood, Leonard Ross- 
man. John Van Sewin, Allen Macomber, Henry Macomber, Isaac Gileo, 
C V. Johnson, Nicholas Whiteccll. J. T. Rust. Ira M. Hale, C. D. Kellogg 
and F. J. Hlanding. who were all residents and freeholders of towns i f and 
)j north, range 9 west; and George M. Pierson, James S. Ferguson, L. R. 
Ferguson, John Day, Samuel Day. John YV. Ross, James Coleman, Horace 
Purely, James Hart, Conrad House, Hendrick Rice, Daniel Caroney, O. X. 
Andrews, Henry M. Carpenter, H. Rice and John Rip (there were two other 
names on this petition but they had been Avritten in pencil and had faded 
until they could not be deciphered), who were all residents and freeholders 
of towns ir and 12 north, range to west, dated on May T3. t86i. was pre- 
sented to the board of supervisors of Montcalm county. These, petitioners 
represented themselves as "actual residents and freeholders of the township 
of Pierson. which township was ;it that time attached to Montcalm county 
for judicial, municipal and representative purposes, and is comprised of 
townships ti and T2 north, ranges <) and to west, and that since it would 
be much more convenient for the residents of townships u and T2 north, 
range g west, to be organized into a separate township, they prayed that the 
board of supervisors detach townships it and 12 north, range g west, from 
the township of Pierson, and to organize the same into a separate township, 
to be called Wintield.'" They also asked that the first township meeting be 
held at the house of John B. Moon on the first Monday of April. 1862, at 
eight o'clock, and that Fben R. Fllenwood, Leonard Rossman and Tsaac 
(iilleo be appointed inspectors of this township meeting and election. 

This petition was acted upon, and after due consideration was passed 
bv the board of supervisors on October t6. 1861. and the township of Win- 
tield came into existence. 



Section 1 — - Isaac Gilleo, Samuel Rose, Caleb Johnson. Section 2 — 
Peleg Soule, Pdwin Royee, Erancis G. Strang. James B. Reynolds, George 
I locket, Kdgar P. Grav. William S. Long, Joshua Wycoff. Section 3- — 
Allen Wright. Section 4 — Jacob B. Bush. Allen Wright, Marinda E. Rust, 
Martha Smead. Seth Beal. Alanson Millard, Eleazer Cleveland, Albridge 
Rust, J^clc -ru Beckley, Barton King. George Beckley. Section 5 — Charles 
Merrill. David D. Hoag, Allen Wright. Section 6 — David IToag, Martin 
Ryerson, Robert .Morris. Section 7 — David D. Hoag, Alanson Orton, J. 
Orton. Section 8— David Hoag, John Squires, Martin Ryerson, Robert 
Morris, Austin J. Reck. Edward J. Curtis. Alfred B. Rust, Albert Rust, 
Amasa Watson. Section <) — Alfred Rust. Edward J. Curtis. Edgar Gray, 
A. E and II. J. Orton, Joseph X. Cornell, Reuben W. Smead, Jacob H. 
Swarthout. George A. Crane. J'eter Johnson. Section 10 — Seth Jlolcomb, 
Joseph Prior. Reuben Whiteman. John Bisbee. Peter Johnson, Joseph Pier- 
son, Alanson and Henrv Orton. I'M gar Gray, Allen Macomber, Henry Yen- 
kee. Section ij — Seth Holcomb. I'eleg Soule, Abner Sherwin, Albert Rust. 
Section 12 — William Rose, Samuel W. Rose, Isaac Gilleo. Seth Holcomb, 
Peleg Soule. Section 13 — Hiram Scott, Pli Westlake, Nelson Chambers, 
Allen Macomber, Eite Rossman. P. Rossman. Eben Elleuwood, Harmon 
Rossman, Alanson Orton, II. J. Orton. Section 14 — Luther G. Vanbuskirk, 
Ste])hen P. Page. Peleg Soule, Xelson Chambers, Moses Swarthout, Melvin 
Martin. Section 13 -Stephen Page. vSection 16 — John Bobasco, James 
Eerman. John Borden, Benjamin Coe. Alfred Macomber. John Aikins, 'Peter 
Johnson. Section 17— John Squires. Kelly Puller. Jacob Hale, Charles Kel- 
logg. A. P. Macomber. Section 18 — John Squires. A. P\ and 11. J. Orton, 
Edgar E. Gray. Albert Rust. Section 10, — James Sanborn, Byron Squires. 
Section 20 — John Toonnan, James Sanborn. John Wetherby, John Roches- 
ter, Edgar Gray, Levi Pratt. William Snyder. Section 21 — James W. San- 
born. A. P. and IP J. Orton, Pdgar Gray, Emily W. Perman. Section 22-- 
James Sanborn, Peter Gage. Section 24 — Pben R. Pllemvood, Allen Macom- 
ber. Section 25 -Marshall Stark. Luther Vanbuskirk, Eeleg Soule, Jl. Pren- 
tiss. Section 26 — Kthan Prentiss. Martin Ryerson. Robert. Morris, Peter 
Johnson, Charles Hills, Ezra Stevens and Henry Getty. vSection 27 — Ethan 
W. Prentiss. Section 28 — James Sanborn, Martin Ryerson, Robert Morris, 
Oliver Miles, William Miles, Patty McPherson. George Eykert, Samuel G. 
Hutchins, Ira W. Mason. C. PMssold. Section 29— James Sanborn. Sec- 

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^HHKL> fl|fctfBHj^.\. 


" tr- 

^^^^^HHlj^^HS^^^^HL j Xw^^" 




tion 30 — Peter Sanborn, James Sanborn, Orin Willard, Martin Ryerson, 
Roljert Morris, John Chubb, John W. Rochester, Edgar Gray, John Borden, 
John H. Simmons. Section 31— Peter Sanborn, Edgar Gray. Section 32 — 
Peter Sanborn, James Stevenson, George N. Rykert, Edgar Gray, John 
Loree. Henry Henkel. Section 33— James Sanborn, John Loree, George 
W. Rykert. Section 34 — Jeremiah Rudes. Clayton Wood, Francis Kellogg, 
Caleb Weaver. John Ilolcomb, Englehand Debus. 


Although the first settlement of Winfield is involved in some obscurity, 
there is little room for doubt that Isaac and Chauncey Gilleo were the first 
to locate permanently within its borders. On the 7th of June, 1855, assisted 
by William Russell, who owned the saw-mill at Langston, and by whom 
they had been employed, these young men came to Winfield, then a part of 
Pierson, and entered land on sections .1 and 2. Many selections had been 
made and much land entered in the township previous to this time for the 
purpose of actual settlement, but none of the parties had yet returned to 
attack the heavy growth of pine, beech and maple. And although the land 
pre-empted by the Gilleo brothers lay in the north part, it is not to be inferred 
that there was no government land to the south. The hardwood belts, it is 
true, had nearly all l>een entered, but valuable tracts of pine were passed by 
as worthless. The young men referred to selected a very fine tract of land, 
and built a cabin of poles and bark, the first in the township. They also at 
once commenced a clearing, a part of which they soon after planted to 
potatoes and turnips. Owing to the lateness of the time of planting, how- 
ever, the yield was not large. Previous to this time (when is not known) 
the Indians had made a partial clearing by underbrushing and cutting all the 
smaller trees on a considerable tract in the west part of the township, to the 
south of this place, and it is probable that they had raised several crops. In 
the spring of 1856 they made sugar here, but subsequently went to the North, 
where they remained. 

The clearing commenced by the Gilleos grew to a field of more than 
four acres during the winter of 1855-56, which, in the spring, they planted 
to corn and vegetables. Thus they lived, cleared land, made shingles, shot 
deer, of which there was no lack, occasionally a bear, did their own house- 
hold work, and carried their provisions from Langston or Greenville, the 
former fifteen and the latter twenty-five miles distant. In the fall they 


sowed the field to wheat, and the crop, which when threshed with a flail 
amounted to eighty bushels, they sold for sixteen dollars, and with this they 
started on a visit to friends in Pennsylvania, between four and live hundred 
miles distant. 

In the summer of 1855 William Rose came to Win field. He built a 
small hut, in which he and three children and a grandchild lived some years. 
When, subsequently. Mr. Rose offered his farm for sale, it was spoken of as 
having a dwelling house upon it. When he called he found a cabin about 
ten by twelve feet. A few boards laid down on the ground served as a floor. 
The door was also made of rough boards. There was but a single pane of 
glass in the whole cabin, and from a dilapidated old stove a small pipe 
reached but part way to the hole in the roof, and the smoke, which when the 
elements were at peace, filled the cabin nearly to suffocation, in the slightest 
wind made it unendurable to the inmates. 

"Mr. Rose was a very intelligent and well-educated gentleman, who had 
been brought to extreme poverty by business reverses. He was anxious to 
sell his farm with the slight improvements. H. ('. Smith became the pur- 
chaser, and in 1863 moved into the township, where he lived for a long time. 
lie was the first carpenter to locate in this part of the county, and hewed 
the timbers for the first mill in Lake View, for Allen Macomber, and built 
the first frame barn in Cato township, for Albert French. 

The third settler in Wiufield was Caleb Johnson (a brother-in-law of 
Isaac Gilleo), who, in the fall of 1S56. came in with his family and entered 
land on section 1. He moved into the log house which the Gilleos had built 
the year previous, and the next summer he commenced a clearing on his 
own land. Me also built a house and set out the first orchard in the town- 
ship. William C. Johnson, his son. who was born in April or May. T857, 
was the first child born in Wiufield. 

In the spring of i860 the invalid sister of Isaac Gilleo. who had been 
brought from Pennsylvania when the brothers returned to the township, 
died, and was buried on their farm, but was subsequently removed to the 
cemetery on section 1. which was deeded to the township by Nicholas 
Whiterell, upon whose land it was located. This was one of the first deaths 
in the township. This farm was later owned by Judge J. M. Dickerson, a 
native of Yates county, New York, who came to Michigan in 1863. He was 
elected judge of probate in 1868 and became a resident of Wiufield in 1873. 

Moses Swarthout was an early settler in the east part of the town. He 
located on section 14, where he cleared a farm and placed it in a good state 


of cultivation, upon which he lived until about the year 1871, when he 
became a resident of Cato. 

The farm settled by Henry Macomber was later occupied by William 
\Y. Kelsey, who came to Winiield in an early day, but did not become a per- 
manent resident till the lapse of several years. He was in the Union army, 
and, it is said, was condemned to die for sleeping- on his post, but through 
many extenuating circumstances, was pardoned, after which he was wounded 
in battle. He served as town clerk for several years. 

In the winter of 1 86061 Reverends Ardridge and Church came to the 
township and held a series of meetings at. the house of Henry Macoml>er. 
They remained several weeks in the vicinity, and although a number were 
baptized, no regular organization was effected. The weather was extremely 
cold, and an opening was made through the ice in Tamarack creek in order 
to perform the immersions, which were the first in the township. 

The first saw-mill and store were in the northeastern part, on the farm 
later owned by Judge Dickerson. The mill was built by Mailen Harrington 
and John Huatt, who brought in a portable engine and mill. 

E. II. Garbutt and William Kelly opened the store, which was one of 
the first in the north 'part of the county. These supplied wants long felt, 
and were a valuable addition to the business interests of this locality. This 
store was afterwards purchased by Samuel and Abner Weeks, the former 
being appointed postmaster, and the first office being opened at this place. 

Seth Beal, an early settler, located on section 9. He was a man of 
great strength, and at one time he carried eighty pounds of sugar to Croton, 
which he traded for eighty pounds of flour, and in addition to this load, 
brought home several tin pans and some smaller articles and made the entire 
distance of thirty-six miles in twelve hours. He subsequently moved from 
the township to Missouri. A part of the land entered by Mr. Beal was 
later owned by John Gat'field, who came to Winfield from Canada. 

H. L. Barton located on the southwest quarter of section 9. James 
Stevenson settled on the north half of the southwest quarter of section 32, 
in i860. He was among the first settlers in this part. He served in the 
Union army three years. 


Amble, which is located in the center of Winfield township, on the 
Fere Marquette railroad, was platted on July 8, 1886. The proprietors of 
this village were David I... C. Eaton. Nathan W. Merrill, James T. Hall and 
Thomas Eisk. Parker Merrill surveyed and laid out the town. This is the 


only town in YViniield township and has never reached the desires of its 
original proprietors. It was named in honor of Rev. Ole Amble, of the 
Danish Lutheran church, it began its existence after the lumber industry 
had reached its height and has failed to prove a railroad center, as was 
desired. At present there is one church in Amble, and the business of the 
town consists of one general store and a creamery. 

Like man)- of the other villages of the county, Amble has not attained 
much size. The present business interests of the village are the general 
merchandise stores of Peter Hansen, and Olsen Brothers, the latter being- 
erected in 1915. Amble also has a co-operative creamery, which receives 
excellent patronage from those interested in this association, and also from 
other dairy raisers in this community. Louis Waldo operates an elevator 
in this place. Amble has a population of approximately one hundred and 
draws its resources from a rich farming community in which it lies. 



While Michigan does not rank with the prairie states in the production 
of certain cereals such as corn, wheat and oats, its acreage of corn in 191 1 
amounted to 1,690,000, and its production in bushels to 55,770,000. Of 
course, this production does not compare with the production of Illinois, 
Indiana, and Iowa. 

Tn t 9 1 1 . 1,025,000 acres were sown to wheat in the state of Michigan, 
which ranked eighth in the whole country. The average yield of wheat per 
acre in Michigan was 18 bushels, which compared very favorably with the 
yield in the prairie states. It is significant that there has been a steady 
increase in the yield of wheat per acre in Michigan since 1870. The ten- 
year average yield in 1879 was 14.7 bushels and in both 1910 and 191 r the 
yield was r8 bushels per acre. 

In the North Central group of states east of the Mississippi river. 
Michigan also ranks last in the production of oats, but the yield per acre 
nevertheless compares favorably with that in other states of the group. 

In the production of rye. Michigan is the first state in the Union in 
acreage sown and second in annual production. In T911 the total acreage 
of the state was 400.000 and the total production was 5,840,000 bushels. 
Only Wisconsin produced a larger crop. The average yield of rye per acre 
for the ten-year period from 1900 to 1909 was 15. 1 bushels. Montcalm 
county ranks righ among the counties of Michigan both in acreage of rye 
sown and in annual production. 


It is in the production of potatoes, also, that Michigan and Montcalm 
counties, especially, takes high rank. In acreage planted to potatoes, Mich- 
igan ranks second only to New York, that of the latter being 375,000 in 
191 1 and of the former 330,000. In annual production, Michigan ranks 
second only to Wisconsin, that of the latter being 32,480,000 bushels in 


1911 and of the former, 31,020,000 bushels in 191 1. The ten-year average 
yield of potatoes in the United States is 91.4 bushels and in Michigan the 
ten-year average yield is 88 bushels. The production in 1910, however, 
was T05 bushels per acre and in 191 t it was 94 bushels. 

In the production of live stock, Michigan hardly compares with the great 
agricultural states of the Middle West and under the conditions can hardly 
be expected to show a favorable comparison. On January 1, 191 2, there 
were in Michigan 634,000 head of horses and 4,000 head of mules. On 
the same date there were in the state 806,000 milch cows and 701,000 head 
of other cattle. At this time, Michigan surpassed Indiana in the number of 
milch cows and was only slightly below Indiana in number of other cattle. 
On January 1, 1912, there were 1,382,000 head of hogs in the. state and 
about the same time 1,600,000 head of sheep of shearing age. In the pro- 
duction of sheep Michigan ranks second only to Ohio of those states east of 
the Mississippi river and is exceeded only by Montana, Wyoming, New 
Mexico. Utah, Washington. California and Oregon of those west of the 
Mississippi river. 

The Michigan crop report for November 1, 1914, issued by the secre- 
tary of state, shows that Montcalm county ranked eighteenth among all the 
counties of the state in the acreage planted to corn but that it ranked first 
in acreage among the central counties of the state. The estimated acreage 
in 191 4 was 43.374 with an estimated yield of 1.518,090 bushels or 35 
bushels to the acre. In J914, not only did Montcalm county rank first in 
acreage sown to wheat but it also ranks first in production among the 
counties of the central group which, besides Montcalm, include Ray, Gratiot, 
Huron, Isabella, Mecosta. Midland, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, Saginaw, 
Sanilac, and Tuscola. 

In acreage sown to wheat in 191 1, Montcalm county ranked third in 
the central group and in total yield it ranked fourth. The acreage sown to 
wheat in 191 t in Montcalm county was 12,340, the total yield 246,800 
bushels and the average yield per acre 20 bushels. Huron and Sanilac 
counties surpassed Montcalm in acreage sown to wheat in 1911, among 
those counties of the central group, and Huron, Saginaw and .Sanilac sur- 
passed Montcalm in total yield. 

So far as the acreage and production of oats is concerned, Montcalm 
county ranks seventh in the central group in acreage sown and eighth in 
production, the acreage being 20,123 in 191 1 and the production 603.690 
bushels. The average yield of oats per acre in 191 1 was 30 bushels. 



It is in the production of rye that Montcalm county surpasses every 
other county of the state. In 191 i, 20,148 acres sown to rye in Montcalm 
county produced a total yield of 302,220 bushels, or 15 bushels to the acre. 
When it is remembered that Michigan ranks first among all the states of 
the Union in acreage sown to rye and second in annual production, the pro- 
duction in Montcalm county takes on added significance. 

Jn the production of potatoes, Montcalm county also ranks very high. 
Only one county in the state surpasses Montcalm in either the acreage 
planted or the total production. This is Oakland county, one of the south- 
ern group. In .1914 there were 20,386 acres planted in potatoes in Mont- 
calm county and 22.006 acres in Oakland county. Montcalm county pro- 
duced approximately 2,364.776 bushels in 19 14 and Oakland county 2.772,- 
756 bushels. The yield per acre in Montcalm county in 1914 was 1 [6 

Besides potatoes and rye, which are raised in abundant quantities in 
Montcalm county, beans also thrive in the county and the crop is gaining 
in popularity. In j 9 r 4 Montcalm county produced 134,180 bushels of beans 
on 13,418 acres. Two years ago, 191 4. the state of Michigan produced 
4.669,514 bushels of beans off of 414,035 acres, and the average yield per 
acre was 11.28 bushels. Of this, the central group of counties, including 
Montcalm count}-, produced a little more than one-half the total or 2,373,601 
bushels from 195,163 acres. 

Montcalm county also raised t,200 bushels of barley off of 48 acres 
in 1914 and 24,661 bushels of buckwheat off of 1,897 acres. The county 
likewise produced 1,140 bushels of peas from seventy-six acres, and 1,352 
tons of sugar beets from 169 acres; also 41,900 tons of hay from 31,985 

Thirty-six per cent, of the farmers of Michigan used commercial fertil- 
izers in sowing wheat in T914, 43 per cent, in the southern counties, 37 per 
cent, in the central counties, 10 per cent, in the northern counties and 8 per 
cent, in the upper peninsula. 


From the fact that Montcalm county takes high rank as a potato-raising 
county, Greenville and Stanton are naturally large potato markets. Pota- 


toes, probably more than any other product, have made the county well 
known throughout the country. In fact, Greenville and Stanton are two 
of the largest shipping centers of potatoes in all the country. More mort- 
gages have been paid off in Michigan from the income from potatoes than 
any other crop, perhaps, and it is to be remembered that Montcalm county 
produces more potatoes than any other county in the state, save one. This 
section already has an enviable standing in the production of potatoes and 
its future is well assured. Roth Greenville and Stanton, especially, have 
superior advantages as shipping points. 

Under authority of an act passed at the second extra session of the 
Michigan state Legislature in 1912, "the board of supervisors of each county 
is hereby authorized to appropriate or raise money by tax to be used for 
co-operative work with the .Michigan Agricultural College in encouraging 
improved methods of farm management and practical instruction and demon- 
stration in agriculture." 

The act makes it the duty of each board of supervisors making an 
appropriation, or of any county in which any money shall be raised for the 
purpose of the act, "prior to the time same is available for use, to prescribe 
rules and regulations for the use and expenditure of the same." The 
money so appropriated or raised by tax must be expended under the direction 
of the board of supervisors in co-operation with the Michigan Agricultural 

Under this act, county farm agents whose duties are to render expert 
assistance to farmers in all phases of agriculture have been appointed for 
several counties of the state. This act is an important step in the scientific 
development of agriculture in the state of Michigan and although no county 
farm agent has yet been appointed for Montcalm count}-, there is already 
a well-defined sentiment in favor of an expenditure of money for this pur- 

Commenting on the appointment of a county farm agent in Kent county. 
the Howard City Record, under date of November ti, to, 15, has the fol- 
lowing to say : 

"In the discussion whether Kent county could afford the services of a 
county farm agent at $.2,000 per year, the Grand Rapids Nc7<>s pointed out 
that on a valuation of two hundred and thirteen millions of dollars the 
added cost would not exceed five cents per tax paver per year. How long 
will some false economists strive to belittle really important w ; ork? How- 
could Kent county even think of affording the loss of such an important 


feature? Happily, the appropriation is forthcoming in Kent. Rut in 
Montcalm we continue to dawdle and twiddle our thumbs." 


Originally all drainage matters in Montcalm, as well as every other 
county of the state, were in the hands of the township board consisting of 
the supervisor, clerk and two justices of the peace. Applications for drains 
were made by petition of one-third of the freeholders whose lands were 
crossed by the proposed drain and these petitions were presented to the 
township board, which either rejected or granted the petitions. If the peti- 
tion were granted, the drain was surveyed under authority of the drainage 
commissioner. Prior to 1897 a commissioner was chosen for each town- 
ship, but by an act approved June 2, 1897, tne °fh ce °f township drainage 
commissioner was abolished and the office of county drainage commissioner 
established. For a number of years the county drainage commissioner was 
appointed by the hoard of supervisors, but the office was finally made elective 
and is now filled by direct vote of the people. 

To the present drainage commissioner of Montcalm county has fallen 
the honor of supervising the final construction of one of the largest drainage 
projects in the history of the county. This is the Butternut Creek drain 
for which the original petition was filed in 1905- This drain, which has now 
been practically completed at a cost of $33,268.50, drains an enormous acre- 
age of land in Bloomer, Bushnell, Evergreen and Crystal townships. Alto- 
gether, the project covers about twenty-two miles of Butternut creek and its 
tributaries. The original petitioners for the drain were O. \V. Wilson. E. 
[. 'Brown, C. E. Chandler, C. Tl. Ralph, R. Squires, A. Conklin, Orin 
Ranger, James A. Stringham. John II. Carey, J. J. Springsteen, Edward 
Ralph, Charles Davis. Jacob Boyer. John A. Eee. Orin Baxter, Lilliam Isham, 
M. D. Health, T. B. Moss and 11. \Y. Reasoner. of Bloomer township; 
Ceorge R. Lowe. T. B. Lovett, Bun Smith and Garner Smith, of Bushnell 
township; Hannah E. Long, Daniel Kidder, A. J. Holcomb and Amina M. 
Kidder, of Crystal township, and Jay Long, of Evergreen township. 

Although the Butternut drain was halted by litigation for a number 
of years, the litigation actually was one of the by-products of the tight to 
have a new court house built at Stanton. Certain citizens who opposed the 
drain were friendly to Stanton's campaign for a new court house and the 
action of the board of supervisors was made to tally with Stanton's interests 
in the court house campaign. The opponents of the drain, moreover, urged 


as an argument against it that a previous agreement with the petitioners 
relieved them from any moral obligation to be taxed in building it. 

Another large drainage project completed some years ago in Montcalm 
county was the Prairie Creek drain, the original petition for which was 
filed January 31, 1903. The main channel of this drain covered a distance 
of nearly six miles but there were numerous extensions and branches, one 
of which was known as branch Xo. 5. one mile and sixty-eight rods long. 
The petitioners for the Prairie Creek drain were C. L. lleisler. Sylvester 
Arntz. E H. White, William A. Rickner, E M. bitmear. H. IT. Powell, 
Sherman .Arntz and YV. j. Dunn, of Evergreen township; Eli Squires, L. L. 
Jenks, Jacob Rover. Eli Alack, YV. H. Chambers. J. IT. Jones, Mrs. E. S. 
Conklin, D. A. Newcomb. William A. Miller and Stoughton Mitchell, of 
Bushnell township. The work of construction on this drain began in TQO-| 
and was finished in j 905. 


The people of Montcalm count}' are thoroughly awake to the need of 
adequate drainage and nothing has had more to do with their thorough- 
going conversion in this particular than the realization that good roads are 
impossible until proper drains are laid. The attention of the people has 
repeatedlv been called to this fact and liberal support of any meritorious 
project can now be depended upon. The antagonism to spending money for 
this purpose which was so marked in former years has largely disappeared. 

The count v dram commissioner either has just completed or has in 
process the following projects: bisk and Johnson drain, Kneer and Kobin- 
son drain. Mud Lake drain, Xo. 5 drain, Maloney drain, Manzer drain, 
(iibsou-Culver drain, Huckleberry bake drain, .Baker Lake drain, Stillwater 
drain, the outlet to the Wiedbrank drain. Brine drain, Gage drain, Siple 
drain, bairplain drain. Dean Creek drain, and the Barkham and Summers 

The largest river of Montcalm county is Flat river, which has its source 
in the north central part of the county and, passing through Entrican, Langs- 
ton, Gowen and Greenville leaves the county through section 35, in Eureka 
township. Tn the days when the timber resources of Montcalm county were 
being exploited this river was used largely to float logs down stream to 
market. Flat river is not navigable, however, and in fact there is no navi- 
gable stream in the county. 



While they throw no great light upon the status of agriculture in Mont- 
calm county at the present time, the incorporation of various associations 
for promoting agriculture and stock raising are interesting in this connection. 

The Montcalm County Agricultural Society, perhaps the first organ- 
ization of its kind in Montcalm county, was formed at a meeting held on 
September 5. 1878. Before this, however, on October 15, 1861, the Mont- 
calm county Ixxird of supervisors voted to raise one-tenth of a mill tax on 
the dollar for the benefit of an agricultural society. At the first meeting of 
the Montcalm County Agricultural Society the following officers were 
elected : President, F. D. Finch, Stanton ; vice-president, Charles W. Blum- 
berg, Douglass; secretary, F. 11. French. Stanton; treasurer, Israel J. Lucas, 
Stanton; directors. Marcellus Palmer, Day; F. D. Hawley, Stanton; Will- 
iam F. Turner, Stanton. 

According to the constitution adopted at the first session, the first annual 
meeting was held iti Stanton on February 11, 1879. The society was then 
incorporated according to the laws of the state and before adjournment the 
following officers were chosen for the ensuing year: I 'resident, Henry H. 
Hinds, of Day; secretary. F. H. Finch, of Sidney; treasurer, Israel J. 
Lucas, of Day; vice-presidents, Henry Kent, of Fairplain; Charles Blum- 
berg, of Douglass; David Lschliman, of Ferris: R. W. Hoy, of Bushnell ; 
1 [. G. Coburn. of Howard City ; J. M. Dickerson, of Winlield ; directors. 
Orville F. Mason, of Ferris; Marcellus Palmer, of Day; E. K. Wood, of 
Day; William F. Turner, of Sidney. F. D. Hawley, of Day; IT. X. Evans, 
of Fairplain; A. S. French, of Cato. 

A special meeting of the board of directors was held on May 1, 1879. 
when measures were perfected for fencing and improving the grounds of 
the society, the committee appointed to attend to such matters being E. I). 
Hawley, H. L. Bailey and M. A. Reynolds. Such committee were also 
empowered to control and rent the grounds. 

On June 2, [879, A. L. Slaght. F. K. Winsor, Giles Gilbert, M. A. 
Reynolds, John W. S. Pierson, R. T. Dyer, Wood & Thayer, Hawley & 
Pratt, Richards & Son, Oscar Fcnn, Web1>er & Chapin, J. M. Weathervvax, 
R. S. Townsend, II. IT. Hinds. E. D. Finch, A. De F. Gardner, William 
F. Turner and C. D. Allen loaned the society money to the amount of three 
hundred and ninetv-eight dollars until the society was able to pay back the 


The first fair was held on September 23 and 24, 1879, at Stanton, dur- 
ing which the receipts for tickets amounted to $413.65 and at that time, 
from other sources, such as life-membership tickets, entrance fees, etc., there 
was also received $505.52. 

At the second annual meeting, held in Stanton on January 13, 1880. 
the following officers were elected to serve for one year: President, II. II. 
Hinds, of Stanton; secretary, M. If. Baehman, of Stanton; treasurer, J. R. 
Fnglebeck, of Stanton; vice-presidents. George \Y. Stanton, of Sheridan; 
John W. S. Pierson, of Stanton; David Eschliman, of Ferris; D. C. Carp- 
enter, of Viekeryville; Charles Stinchiield, of Fdmore ; W. D. Bellows, of 
Langston ; directors (one year), Alfred Stone, of Greenville; A. L. Smith, 
of Crystal; (two years) Mortimer Gilleo. of Sheridan; Israel J. Lucas, of 
Stanton; (three years) Marcellus Palmer, of Mc Bride; C. \V. Blumberg, 
of Stanton; Henry Courter, of Sidney (enter. 

The second annual fair was held on the society's grounds at Stanton on 
September 2.1, 23 and 24. 1880, and proved a success. One hundred and 
thirty-three season tickets were sold, and two hundred and seven premiums, 
ranging from twenty-five cents to three dollars, were awarded. 

Among those who, by the payment of ten dollars each, became life 
members of the society were C. 1). Allen. (). T. At well, II. L. Bailey, C. W. 
Blumberg, (.). (.). Buckalew. C. \Y\ Chapin, George \V. Childs, L. Corey. 
George F. Case, R. T. Dyer, David Eschliman. John R. Engleback, F. Tl. 
French, M. E. banning. Oscar Fenn. E. D. Finch, William bTiller, D. M. 
Gardner, Giles Gilbert, A. De b. Gardner, Alonzo Gilbert, F. D. Hawlev. 
F. YV. Higgins. H. 1 1. Hinds. A. M. Hunt, Luther Handy, Fred Kalten- 
beck, James \V. Lowing. A. Levitt, Charles A. Loughlin. Israel J. Lucas, 
Nelson Lunn, E. lb .Moore, Ah in Morse, James McGarry. J. II. Mathews, 
C. B. Xye, John W. S. 1'ierson, T. F. Pratt, William Pratt, E. R. Powell, 
J. W. Richards, M. A. Reynolds, Robert Smith. Norman Shepard, A. L. 
Smith, Stansell & Hurlbert. Willis Stansell, C. A. Thayer, William V. 
Turner, R. S. Townsend, Thomas S. Tew, George V,. Wallace, E. K. Wood. 
J. YY'eatherwax, J. M. Weatherwax. F. K. Winsor, W. P. White, J. W. 
Willett and S. Perry Youngs. 

The grounds for the .Montcalm ( ounty Agricultural Society had been 
purchased originally by twelve citizens who each paid one hundred dollars 
into a fund for the purchase of real estate. After four or five fairs had 
been held the fair grounds were abandoned and the real estate reverted to 
the gentleman who had raised the fund of one thousand two hundred dollars. 
Later the property was sold and finally came into possession of E. D. Haw- 


ley who owned the land originally. For some years the fairs had been 
especially successful on account of the local interest in stock raising. Then 
the interest waned and the fair was abandoned. 

About the time the fairs were abandoned or a little later, the Stanton 
Driving Park Company was organized by Elvas 1). Hawley, Clarence \V. 
Chapin, Oscar Fenn, II. IJ. Hinds, Norman Shepard, Tsrael J. Lucas, Mont- 
gomery A. Reynolds, John W. S. Pierson, Michael E. Fanning and Will- 
iam P>. Pratt. This company was incorporated on January 31, 1888, with 
a capital of one thousand six hundred dollars. 

The attempt to hold agricultural fairs had, in a way, preceded the 
agricultural developments of the county and it was natural that the fair was 
not long-lived. The Stanton Driving Park Company, which held three or 
four annual race meetings in August, on the fair grounds track, repre- 
sented an effort to hold the interest in these things until the county -was 
more nearly ready for agricultural fairs. While they were being held the 
race meetings were popular and successful altogether. 


The Northern Michigan Agricultural Society was organized in 1877, 
its first officers being Richard C. Miller, president; James Satterlee, secre- 
tary, and W. Backus, treasurer. The fairs of this society were held at 
Greenville for a number of years and were very successful, the receipts 
averaging $2,500 yearly. 

The Greenville Fair Association, Ltd., was incorporated on November 
2 9> 1( J 5^ by Theodore 1. Phelps, David Jacobson, William W. Slawson, 
William D. Johnson, Meno S. Dadles, Frank S. Gibson. Junius E. Osmon, 
Ernest A. Kemp, Frank Nelson, Eli S. (.'lark, Charles M. Miller, Mikkel 
Skroder, Walter Feldt, William H. Browne, Gerrit J. Kastenberg, John H, 
Temmink, Willard J. Kingsbury, Thomas B. P>. Winter, William H. Brad- 
ley. Delmer H. Moore, Eugene Rutan, Duncan K. Black, Willard J. Bennett, 
Rufus F. Sprague, James T. Ridley, Lawrence C. Lincoln, James W. Bel- 
knap, Cass T. Wright, Charles L. Rarden, Fred E. Ranney, Chris Hanson. 
Charles W. Johnson, J. Edward Van Wormer, Horace L. Bower, C. Jesse 
Church, James Callaghan. Charles T. Ranney, Marvin S. Wood, Carlyle R, 
Kirkbride, N. O. Griswold, William H. George, John Rensman and James 
Ahern. The purposes of this association were to conduct annually a gen- 
eral fair and exhibition of farm products, implements and machinery, ani- 
mals and fowls and all products of the house and field; all kinds of manu- 


factured goods, wares, merchandise, machinery and implements; to pro- 
vide for a track suitable for the speeding of horses, and to provide for and 
pay premiums for superior excellence in all exhibits. 

On May i, 1911. the Greenville Fair Association was incorporated with 
a capital of ten thousand dollars for the purpose of "conducting from time 
to time competitive exhibitions of horses, cattle, sheep, hogs and poultry 
and grain, fruit and agricultural products, and of farm and other machinery, 
tools, implements, utensils and vehicles, as well as of works of art and of 
skill." The incorporators included a long list of Greenville citizens. 

Cntil .191.0, the Greenville Fair Association was a limited partnership, 
but the re-organi/ation in 1910 made it a stock company with a capital of 
ten thousand dollars, as above indicated. New buildings were added from 
time to time until at the present time the association has one of the most 
complete fair equipments in the state, considering the size of Greenville. 
It has prospered for ten years and each year has received good support. 
The 1915 fair was one of the best ever held, both from the standpoint of 
patronage and financial showing. The grounds consist of about twenty 
acres valued at one thousand six hundred dollars, while the buildings are 
valued at ten thousand dollars. The annual meeting of the fair association 
is on November 24, of each year. The present officers are A. M. Berridge, 
president; I. 1ST. Nielsen, vice-president, and D. L. Beardslee, secretary- 

On November 17. 1897. the Citizens' Agricultural Society of Lakeview 
was organized "for the encouragement and advancement of agriculture, 
manufacture, and the mechanic arts." with John W. Kirtland as president ; 
Allen Macomber, vice-president ; Salem F. Kennedy, secretary, and Charles 
F. French, treasurer. The trustees included M. B. Divine, William Rae, 
M. W. Staples, Peter Peterson and Charles W. Northern. This society held 
several fairs at Lakeview and then disbanded. The fairs, however, were 
verv successful for a number of years. 


The Howard City Driving Park and Agricultural Association was 
formed on October 24. 189 1. and the first fair was held on Septeml>er 27. 
28, 29 and 30, 1892. It was very successful. During the year previous 
thirty acres lying on the south line of the village were purchased and cleared 
up for the fairground and a very fast half-mile race track built. Success- 
ful fairs were held annually each fall. After the fair of 1896 financial 


difficulties, were encountered following the hard times of the early nineties, 
and it was decided to offer the grounds for sale to clean up the debts. In 
April, 1897, the grounds were offered for sale but no one bid them in and 
finally twelve men guaranteed the payment of the. encumbrance, paid the 
amounts due, and became the owners of the property. The association's, 
first officers were: President, John C. Collins: secretary, B. J. Low rev;, 
treasurer, N. W. Mather. 

.Finally eighteen business men formed an association in 1902 and again 
brought the fair to life, leasing the grounds from the owners for several 
vears. The fair prospered and in June, 1907, twenty-six business men 
organized, purchased the grounds and buildings, and incorporated under 
the name of the Howard City Fair Association, holding annual expositions, 
that steadily grew in interest and importance until 1913. when the stock- 
holders voted to discontinue the fairs. The fair's surplus had been used up 
in taking care of the increasing expenses of maintenance of a plant that 
was steadily depreciating, and being able to pay off every dollar of indebted- 
ness and stopping square was considered better than risking debt in the 
future. In the spring of 1914 the property was sold and the old fair- 
ground is now a memory, and the land a fine farm. 

The .(-Toward City track had a history such as few towns could boast. 
State records were frequently smashed and horsemen from several states 
always looked forward to the T Toward City races. They were always hard- 
fought contests and the towns possessed many ardent fans who enjoyed the 
sport. Prominent among the stockholders and officers of the fair besides 
those named, were: S. C. Scott, J. A. Collins. W. H. Collins. \V. H. Lovely, 
J. W. Lovely, J. FT. Haskins. IT. M. Gibbs, L. L. Church, J. H. Arbogast,. 
Warren Lisk, C. G. Larry. Richard Perry. S. V. Bullock, Blaine Henkel. A. 
M. Cook, J. B. Haskins, W. J. Smith, Fred Ashley. J. B. King. John Wat- 
son and others. 

The presidents of the fair were J. C. Collins. J. A. Collins, J. W. 
Lovely, J. B. King, Fred Ashley. W. II. Collins. B. J. Lowrey was the- 
secretary continuously until 1908, when he was succeeded by J. B. Haskins. 
Treasurers were N. W. Mather. S. C. Scott. H. M. Gibbs, Fred Ashley and 
D.-W. Clapp. 


The Crystal Horse Breeders' and Turfmen's Association, of Crystal',, 
was incorporated on August 31, 1907, with a capital of $10,000 for the pur- 
pose of conducting trotting and running races, by Marcus Pollasky, C. W r . 


LaDu, E. E. Fuller, C. DeYoung, R. 13. Smith, F. T. Kimball, S. N. King, 
H. S. Phillips, C. 11. Morgan and George A. Fink. 

The Richland Guernsey Breeders' Association was incorporated on June 
2, 1908, with a capital of one thousand dollars, by Edgar S. Wagar, Harry 
E. Wagar, James Purdon, Frank E. Holmes, Archie Foster, Thomas W. 
Musson, William A. Wood. Angus hi. McDonald, Frank Eitelbus, H. 
Peter Hansen, Hosmer I.'. Beebe. Herbert J. Wilson, John C. Sack, Michael 
Krohn, John I*', Granzo, .Minnie B. Thomas and Eeo Ehrlich. 

The Edmore Driving Park and Agricultural Association was incor- 
porated on November .10. 1 CS85. with a capital stock of two thousand dol- 
lars, and with William R. Jones, William II. Gardner, Harry W. Robson, 
James K. Train and William Brown as directors for the first year. The 
original stockholders included, besides the directors, James M. Corry, A. J. 
Briggs, F. G. Wagar. R M. Wilson. S. Eandon, Robert M. Orser, A. Emer- 
son, A. P. Curtis, Charles E. Taylor, John Stone, Charles E. Brown, A. H. 
barman, D. B. Morhead and N. L. Xaragan. 

The Montcalm County Horse Breeders' Association was incorporated 
on June 26, 1875, for the purpose of improving the "stock of horses" in 
Montcalm county. Its original capital was six thousand dollars and its 
incorporators were Myron Rider, Henry Hart, L. Judd Macomber, L. H. 
Colwell, E. B. Fester, N. F. Derby. J. H. Edsall. J. M. Bennett and H. A. 


While not typical of individual progress an article appearing in the 
Stanton Weekly Clipper of December 3, 1880, under the caption "Five 
Years Progress" may be regarded as somewhat typical and, in any event, 
descriptive of one Montcalm county resident's success, both in an industrial 
and agricultural way. during the late seventies. 

"In the winter of 1875." says the Clipper. "O. Fenn, then register of 
deeds of Montcalm county, located his shingle mill about two miles north- 
east of Stanton in the midst of a five-hundred-and-twenty-acre tract of 
unbroken pine forest. There is yet about three months work and then the 
entire tract will have been manufactured into shingles, in round numbers, 
50,000,000, exclusive of culls. The average price paid for shingles during 
the last five years has been two dollars per thousand as near as can be ascer- 
tained. This would make the gross value of the first crop from this 520 
acres $100,000. 

"Mr. Fenn commenced clearing in April. 1877, and that fall harvested 


his first crop, about 8 acres, and obtained about io tons of millet. That fall 
and the next spring- he cleared 22 acres more land and harvested from it, 
and that cleared the previous spring, 16 acres of oats with a yield of 36 
bushels per acre, from 5 acres. 8 tons of millet and from 10 acres about 
15 tons of hay. In the fall of 1878 and spring of 1879 he added 53 acres 
to his clearing, and that fall harvested t8 acres of wheat, which yielded 24 
bushels per acre: 35 acres of oats with a total yield of 1,050 bushels and 30 
acres of meadow which made 35 tons of hay. In the fall of 187c) and 
spring of 1880, 69 acres more were cleared and in 1880 he harvested 60 
acres of wheat, partly "stubbed in," and obtained t,i6o bushels of the finest 
quality of wheat, from 7,/ acres, 3,040 bushels of oats, from 55 acres. 65 
tons of hay. 

"This fall sufficient clearing was done to make the total number of 
acres under cultivation 200. He has 40 acres of wheat now in the ground 
and looking well. J$ acres seeded down for meadow. He has 120 acres of 
clearing now under way. which he proposes to have ready for wheat next 
fall. Tn 1878. Mr. Fenn erected a substantial frame barn on the premises 
36x46 and the carpenters who built it laughed at him and wanted to know 
what he would use it for. presuming he could never raise enough produce 
on the place to make such a barn necessary. Notwithstanding this predic- 
tion, this barn was only a circumstance. Tn the summer of 1880, Mr. 
Fenn was forced to call in the aid of the carpenters again and build another 
barn, this time larger and better than the first. The new barn is 48x50 feet, 
with elevator roof. The outside posts are 20 feet and inside posts 32 feet. 
Under the whole structure is an 8 foot basement formed by the stone founda- 
tion upon which the barn rests. There is not a handsomer bit of masonry 
under any dwelling in the country. The barn is well built, handsomely 
painted and well lighted with windows and transoms over the doors. 

"Besides these barns Mr. Fenn has a neatly-built granary 20x30 feet 
and two stories high. The produce of the farm this year filled them to their 
utmost capacity and it became necessary to store several hundred bushels of 
grain elsewhere. The farm is well cleared and the entire 200 acres of 
improvements are under good substantial board fences and the lay of the 
land is as good as any man can ask for. A first-class windmill pump sup- 
plies the water for the stock and a set of Fairbanks scales adjoins the new 
barn for the convenience of the farm. The farm is only one of many of 
like proportions that have sprung up around us within the past four or five 
years and will serve as an index to the rapid development of our country 


and as index to our future agricultural prospects. There is no fanning 
country in the world that can make a better showing than our pine lands, 
condemned as they are by the wiseacres of the old, worn-out agricultural 
districts of the Fast and South. Mr. Fenn's shingle mill is one. of the best 
and best-managed mills in this section of country, with a capacity of 60 to 
65 thousand per day. Thirty men are now employed in operating it, but 
as this mill in a few short months will have fulfilled its mission and become 
one of the things of the past, we. deem it unnecessary to make any further 
mention of it in this connection." 

This farm is now owned and occupied by Josiah Martin, who procured 
it from the heirs of Oscar Fenn. 


Although the farmers of Montcalm county have met together in insti- 
tutes for many year.s, the first institute held under the present arrangement, 
by which the work is done under supervision of a state superintendent of 
institutes, was held at the Greenwood Grange hall on December 20,, 190S. 

The state law requires that the Michigan State Agricultural College 
holds a two-day institute in each county having an institute organization 
and authorizes the holding of as many one-day institutes as conditions war- 
rant. County institutes are now being held in about eighty of Michigan's 
eighty-three counties and in nearly all of these counties one or more one- 
day institutes are held in addition to the county institute. Besides the 
''county round up" institute held at Stanton on January 20, and 30, 1915. 
one-day institutes were held at Greenville, January it: Sidney, January 12; 
Trufant, January 13; Fakeview. January 16: Fdmore. January 18; Vesta- 
burg, January 19; Grysta. January 20, and Fenwick, January 23. Two- 
day institutes were held at Howard City, January 14 and 15, and at Carson 
City. January 21 and 22. 

In fifty-two Michigan counties women's congresses were held in con- 
nection with the county institutes in t 9 r 5 . The first women's congress held 
in Montcalm county, according to the minutes of the secretary, was held at 
Fakeview on Friday afternoon, January 22, tqoq. Since that date women's 
congresses have been held each year in connection with the. county insti- 

The first secretary of the Montcalm County Farmers' Institute was 
Thomas Brayman and at the first meeting held at the Greenwood Grange 
hall, E. K. Smith, of Hart, was the state speaker. At this meeting the fol- 


lowing- members were received: Howard City— A. W. Rogers, L. L. 
Church, William Hand, Austin Barber, Henry Miller, J. H. Haskins, J. C. 
Gilmore, W. H. Weslbrook and Finley Schoonmaker; Morley — Levi Finch. 
C. Hess, K. Fry, j. W. Miller, Verne Cole, Thomas Gordin, Corwin Bray- 
man, C. A. Houghtalin, M. F. Alverson, Matt Johnson, F. E. Cole, Clyde 
Cole. Frank Winright and Thomas Brayman. The receipts of this meeting 
were $5.75. 

The next meeting of this society was held at the Greenville Grange hall 
on December 30 and 31, J908. The attendance was very good and twenty- 
three new members were received. A meeting was held at Trufant the fol- 
lowing day, but the attendance was not all that could be desired as it was 
New Years Day. However, twenty-four new members were taken in. The 
next meeting was held at Butternut. January 4, rgoQ. F. K. Smith, the 
speaker, was very well liked and the attendance was very good. The meet- 
ings of the association 011 January 22 and 23 were of great importance and 
very interesting. They were held at Fakeview. The secretary's report 
submitted at this meeting showed the balance on hand to be $36.51. the 
amount of the expenses being $38.28. The report submitted at the close 
of the meetings in T909 showed $34.58 to be the amount on hand and the 
expenses $17.78. 

The first meeting held in 19 to met in Neff's hall on January 21 and 
22. George Arnold was the president, O. J. Houghton the secretary and 
Jason Woodman of Paw Paw the conductor. The Woman's Congress was 
held 111 the Methodist Episcopal church on January 20. Mrs. Nellie Sackett 
was president, Mrs. O. J. Houghton the secretary, and Mrs. Creyts the 
conductor. Fvery one of these meetings was well attended. 

The next meeting was held on February 8 and 9, 191 1, in Neff's hall, 
with the following speakers in attendance : W. T. Taylor, of Shelby, 
Michigan; A. B. Cook, of Owosso, Michigan: E. J. Creyts, of Lansing, and 
George Arnold. The next meeting was held at Stanton where the next 
financial statement was submitted. Tt showed the balance on hand to be 
$38.45, and the expenses to be $17.63. George Arnold was the president 
at the meeting in Stanton; (). J. Houghton, secretary; L. R. Taft. state, 
superintendent; J. N. McBride, conductor; C. A. Tyler, assistant conductor. 
A mid-winter fair was held in connection with this institute. One hundred 
dollars was paid out at this time, which was contributed by the people of 
Stanton. The next meeting was held at Sheridan on January 16, 17, 1913. 

One-day institutes were held at Howard City on February 11, at Lake- 
view on February 12, at Yestaburg on February 13, at Crystal on February 


14 and at Butternut on February T5, 1913. These meetings were all well 
attended and were made very interesting by special music provided for the 
occasion and the speeches were of interest to all. 

In 19 14 F. L. Dean was again the president, R. J. Thompson the secre- 
tary and treasurer and Charles B. Scully was the conductor. The first meet- 
ing was held in the Woodmans' hall at Vestaburg, January 13, 1914. Very 
interesting subjects were discussed and all pronounced it a good institute. 
The second meeting was held at Crystal and while the weather was very 
cold, the attendance was very good. The Silver family furnished fine music 
which was enjoyed by all present. Thirty-one members were secured at 
this meeting. Carson City was next visited. Eben Mum ford of the United 
States department of agriculture gave a very fine address, and at this meet- 
ing sixty members were received. The next meeting was held in the court 
house at Stanton, January 16. A very fine address was delivered on the 
"Construction and Value of a Silo.'* during the morning session by Charles 
1». Scully, a state speaker. Governor Ferris also gave an interesting address 
on "Education" in the afternoon. Trufant was the next place on the list 
but the secretary was absent at this meeting so not much can be said regard- 
ing it. However, forty-four members were secured at this meeting. Green- 
ville came next and the meeting was held there on January 20. C. E. 
Holmes of Lansing took up the subject "Our Boys and Girls" and delivered 
a splendid address. Charles B. Scully talked on "Our Opportunities" and 
several local speakers gave very good addresses. Flighty-eight members 
were secured at this time. The institute was held at Howard City on Janu- 
ary 2T. A. R. Brown and John I. Gibson were present at this meeting and 
to them was due much of the success attained at this time. A free dinner 
was furnished by the Board of Trade and ladies to 578 people that day. 

The final meeting or "round up'' of the Montcalm County Farmers' 
Institute was held at Sheridan on January 22 and 23, 19 [4. Doctor Hansen 
of Greenville talked on "Bovine Tuberculosis" and gave many helpful and 
interesting points. Charles B. Scully, C. FT. Bramble and G. N. Outwell 
were other important speakers. It was decided that the next "round up" 
should be held at Stanton. F. L. Dean and R. J. Thompson were re-elected 
as president and secretary, respectively. The financial statement submitted 
at the end of the period showed a balance of $20 and expenses amounting 
to $299.05. 

Tn 191 5. the officers in charge of the farmers' institutes were F. L. 
Dean, president; R. J. Thompson, secretary and treasurer; L. R. Taft. of 
Lansing, superintendent. Mrs. Dora Stockman, of Lansing, was the con- 


duct or of women's congress at Howard City. The "round up" was held at 
Stanton on January 29 and 30, E. (\ Martindale, of Wilkinson, Indiana, 
being the conductor. R. B. Bailey, of Gaylord, Michigan, and Hon. James 
N. Mc Bride, of Burton, Michigan, were the state speakers this year. The 
institutes held at the various places were better than ever and each com- 
munity took their part in making them a success. The financial statement 
rendered for 1915 showed a balance on hand of $27.25, the expenses amount- 
ing to $86. 


Jn these days when Montcalm county is producing nearly 2,500,000 
bushels of potatoes, and more than 300,000 bushels of rye: when the enor- 
mous toll taken from the pineries of Montcalm county in bygone years is 
remembered, it is interesting to recount the experiences of the first settlers 
when the county was wholly undeveloped. One of these first settlers, the 
venerable Joseph II. Tishue, now of Stanton but formerly of Ferris town- 
ship, has told an interesting story of "agriculture" in the early days. Per- 
haps it is best to let Mr. Tishue tell his own story: 

"We came to Ferris on the 14th of August, 1853, to build a house on 
the west half of the southwest quarter of section 32, town 11 north, range 
5 west. We returned to near Portland, Michigan, to our family and 
remained there until the 28th of December, of the same year. Then we 
moved in on the said described property. Our nearest neighbor was one 
mile away, and the next nearest, three and one-half miles. We had plenty 
of red men for neighlxms but there were no other whites at that time. There 
were ten children in my father's family, I being the eldest boy. We lived 
in a log house, all the family living in one room and had a fireplace with 
which to heat the house and to cook. There was not a nail in the house 
except in the door and no window nor door when we moved into the house. 
There was two and one-half feet of snow on the ground at that time. My 
father and I could have carried on our backs all our household goods when 
we came. Our meat we got from the animals of the forest. We had one 
cow that we brought with us, and a yoke of two-year-old steers which we 
afterward broke for oxen. We built a little stable within thirty feet of the 
house in which we wintered the cow and oxen. Tt quite frequently occurred 
that we had to go out nights with a torch made of a pine knot and drive 
the wolves away from the cow and the oxen. This usually was my work 
as my father worked away most of the time. 

"When spring came we had about two acres of the timber chopped off 


and the brush burned. My mother and I did this, making a lire and draw- 
ing the brush and burning it all on the same ground because the snow was 
deep that year. We raised a very few potatoes, say twenty bushels, that 
were about the size of walnuts. My mother used to count them out to us 
when we went to dinner and we were allowed three apiece for breakfast 
and three for dinner but none for supper. Tn the fall of 1854 we sowed 
about three acres of wheat and two of rye on the ground. The next year, 
on the 14th of June, we had a frost that killed the wheat, so we never got 
any of it, but we got about a half crop of rye, no corn and scarcely any- 
thing else. Our practice was that when father worked out, J. stayed at 
home. When he stayed at home I worked out, usually going as far south 
as Portland and sometimes farther to rind work. We usually worked a 
week or two, and then took what we could carry on our back home to feed 
the family. After we crossed Maple river at Muir, we had to ford every 
stream we came to as there were no bridges. Many a time we came home 
to find the family gone to bed without supper because they had nothing to 
eat until mother cooked something we brought home. 

"We lived on that farm more than live years, and did not have five 
pounds of sugar, tea nor coffee; in the house during that time. I have often 
come home and found my mother weeping like a child because she was 
deprived of the necessary things of life and wishing herself back in Ohio, 
but J always said to her. "Mother, the sun will shine again for us." and it 
did later on. It was a common thing for me to take my dog and drive the 
deer from the wheat field in the winter because they were digging up the 
wheat and T have shot from the house many a deer in the barnyard, which 
was not more than six rods from the house. We had to watch our cattle 
when we fed them to keep the deer from eating their feed. The first winter 
we were there we 'broused' them. The next year we went to the marshes 
and cut marsh grass with which to winter our stock. We also fed 'bagas' 
and so got through until we raised corn and millet. 

"There was neither a school house in Ferris when we came here, nor 
even a church building. The first school house was erected near our place. 
Tt was a little log building about, twelve by sixteen feet, which had no floor 
in it, and but two little windows. Our seats were made of logs split in two 
and then legs put in them. The one that we wrote on was a little higher so 
it came up in front of us. The school teacher sat on a bench and had the 
same kind of bench for her material. It was quite common in those days 
for people to go to church carrying their rifles for protection from the bears 


and wolves. I have known men to be treed by the wolves and kept up all 
night. We thought nothing of seeing a man come to church with a gun. 
We did not have the tree school system in those days. The school was sup- 
ported by a rate bill and the teacher boarded around among the patrons. 
My father had the largest number of children in the district and practically 
paid the teacher's wages. 

"When we began clearing our farm we were poor and so girdled the 
oak timber. Then we let it stand until it got dry. We cut down the other 
timber, felled it all over the ground and when it got dry we burned it and 
logged it in heaps to make room for the crops. We did this to the first 
seventy acres of our farm. Later on, we bought another eighty acres in 
Crystal township, about a half mile from the homestead, which we also 
cleared. It was a common thing in those days as the settlers came in and 
began to build their houses, not to wait for an invitation to go to the rais- 
ing. I used to go around later on with the oxen and gather up the girls 
for five or six miles around and dance all night. We also used to have 
many logging bees. When men got ready to log. everybody gathered up 
the logs, logged them into heaps, and then we had a dance that lasted nearly 
all night. 1 was one of the fortunate young men of Montcalm county. My 
father never lxnight me a pair of boots and I never had but two pairs of 
shoes that he bought me. J killed many a deer and made moccasins out 
of the hide and wore them, when I wore anything, winter and summer, 
until .1 was sixteen or more years of age. 

"We had three means by which we could take government land when 
we came to Montcalm county, namely: A pre-emption right which we had 
to settle; second, a graduation right, paying seventy-five cents per acre for 
the land and in which the claimant was compelled to settle on it within six 
months; third, by paying the government price — -ten shillings per acre. We 
took land under the graduation act. We came on it in the winter, because 
our time was nearly up after taking it in the spring. During the smoky 
fall of 1856 one incident occurred which I do not wish to omit. We had 
a small tract east of our house inclosed with a brush fence. Our cow and 
oxen were in this inclosure. We kept them there so as to have the oxen 
to use when we wanted them. My father was a very early riser. One 
morning when he got up it was quite smoky and he said that I should go 
and get the oxen. I could not find them nor the cow because the smoke 
was so dense. Finally we got hold of the fence and followed it around 
until we got to the bars by the house. It was within twenty feet of the 


house and we had to leave the cattle in there. There were many days dur- 
ing the twenty days in which the smoke was so dense that we were com- 
pelled to peel hark and stretch a line from the house to the well and from the 
well to the barn to find our way there. We surely thought we were all 
doomed. Finally the smoke cleared away. 

"We saw, one day, coming over the hill east of the house, three wagons 
rilled with women and children, namely, the Bailey people. They moved to 
an adjoining farm and we knew then that we were not entirely alone. The 
same year my uncle, Christopher Hare, moved in and soon many others 
came, and we began to know that we were living in good old America. We 
brought with us a very vicious dog. .Many nights T got up, scolded the 
dog and let in the red man who lay down by the fire. We used to trade 
flour or corn meal to the red man. Jle would take the flour sacks with him 
to the wigwam and tell us he would firing it back in so many moons. We 
never lost any sacks through the red men. Jn later years, I owned land 
where they used to camp — a large company of them, sometimes two or 
three hundred, every winter. 

"I remained with my father until he had about sixty acres of improved' 
land. At the breaking out of the Civil War I left my home on the morn- 
ing of the 17th of April. 1861. and paid my own fare to the city of Buffalo 
where I enlisted in the United States navy. I served my time — one year — 
started home and came as near as Detroit. There 1 enlisted in the Union 
army and went back to the South." 



hi the (lays before the First white explorers and settlers had set foot in 
Montcalm county, X attire's highways, consisting- of streams and rivers 
together with pathways or trails through the dense forest, furnished the only 
avenues of travel. These not only were sufficient for all the purposes of 
the Indians who roamed over the country but they likewise served all the 
needs of the early French explorers and fur traders. 

Many of these uncertain pathways through the forest traversed the 
territory of Ionia and Montcalm county, the principal ones following the 
valleys of the Grand. Maple, the Looking Glass and the Flat rivers. There 
were others also of less importance which crossed the country in various 
directions and connected the broader ones, but all of them converged towards- 
the villages of the red men and their crossings of the large streams. The 
Indians displayed considerable engineering ability in choice of ground for 
their routes of travel, for though rugged surfaces, swamps, lakes and over- 
llowed bottom lands were avoided, still their courses were pretty direct, 
and the crossings of creeks and rivers were made at the most favorable 

The First settlers in the various counties in Michigan soon learned these 
facts, and many of their early highways were so laid as to follow the routes 
taken by the trails. 


Maps made by the United States deputy surveyors in 1830 and 183 c 
show that at that date the principal Indian settlement and points where all 
the trails in Ionia county converged was the village of Cocoosh (old hog), 
or, Moctiquaquash, near the mouth of Maple river, or the vicinity of the- 
present villages of Lyons and Muir. From that place the "broad Indian 
trail to Detroit" passed eastward across sections 20, 21, 22, 23 and 24 in 
Lyons township. The same trail in its course westward crossed the Grand 
river at Genereau's trading post, and thence continued along the valley and 
on the north side of that stream, through the present townships of Ionia,. 


Faston. Kcene and Boston, into Kent county, the route now pursued very 
nearly by the wagon road. Another trail ran parallel with Grand river on 
its left bank, but from Lyons westward, it was not so much used as the one 
on the opposite side of the stream. From Gocoosh village this trail passed 
up the left bank of the same river to near the southeast corner of section 8, 
in Dandy township. Mere it crossed the river and led on southeasterly, 
via the Indian village of Peshinuccon (apple-tree place) towards Detroit. 
The surveyors in their held notes mentioned this as the '"trail to Chiga- 
maskin" (soft-maple place), which was an Indian village near Shiawassee- 
town in Shiawassee county. 

The Saginaw and Grand river trail left the latter stream at Generau's 
trading post. and. thence passing up the valley of Maple river to the great 
bend in Gratiot county, crossed to the headwaters of Bad river and followed 
down its course and that of Saginaw river to the great ( hippewa camping 
ground at Saginaw. 

Besides those alreadv mentioned, two trails converging at Cocoosh vil- 
lage bore oil to the northwest, through Ionia and Ronald townships, into 
.Montcalm county. Another left the Grand river trail on the site of the 
present city of Ionia, and, taking a northwest course across the townships 
of Easton and Orleans, intersected in the vicinity of Kiddville the main 
Flat river trail, which followed the course of that stream from its mouth 
away northward into the pine forests of Montcalm county. 


Hon. E. il. Jones, at one time probate judge of Montcalm county, but 
now a resident of Denver, ( olorado. came to Greenville in 1862 when there 
were only nine houses between the north end of Washington street and the 
Russell mill, now the village of T.angstou. Mr. Jones has a vivid recollec- 
tion of the early roads or rather paths through Montcalm county and in the 
Greenville Independent of September 20. mjii. wrote an extended account 
•of these early roads and trails. 

"The track leading from Greenville to the Russell mill." says Mr. Jones, 
"wound through the pine woods, sometimes circling huge pines, but oftener 
passing over gnarled roots lying far enough above the ground to give the 
vehicle in which one was riding a severe jolt. 

"A logging road." he continued, "leaving the line of the present state 
road at the point where now stands the Monroe school house, led west to 
what was then known as the Gregory Mills, now Gowen. On this road 


t here was neither house, shack nor shanty ; the pine woods, untouched by the 
lumberman's ax, bordered this road on either side. Besides the mills there 
were a few weather-beaten houses and shanties at Gowen, but aside from a 
blacksmith shop and the mills there was nothing which bore any semblance 
to business, nearly all the wants of the people of the village being sup- 
plied from Greenville. 

"From the Gregory mills there were several logging roads leading in a 
northerly direction, one of which led to the Dane settlement. From the 
Dane settlement another woods road led to a settlement on the Tamarack. 
This road was traveled also by the early settlers of Maple Valley, who 
found it the most feasible one to their base of supplies at Greenville. 

"From the Hellamy corners, 'five miles north of Greenville, another 
road branched off from the line of the state road toward the east. This 
road was mostly traveled by those having business at the county seat, which 
had. on the first of January, 1802, been removed from Greenville. But 
there were other roads in the vicinity of Greenville which were often traveled, 
roads which had never been worked, but became better as the amount of 
travel upon them increased. Xo man knows when they were laid out. It 
is certain, however, that were traveled long before the office of highway 
commissioner was established in the United States. These roads were the 
Indian trails. 

"(')ne trail led up the river, on the east side, striking the south line of 
the city not far from the old brick yard. FVom this point, running nearly 
parallel with the general course of the stream, it crossed Washington street 
near the present locality of the Catholic church, then continuing in nearly 
a straight course to the top of the high bank, northeasterly from the Pere 
Marquette depot, thence northwesterly across the bend in the river, strik- 
ing the stream again about half a mile above the north boundary of the city. 
FToni this last point, after many turns, sometimes near the river and some- 
times at quite a distance from it's nearest bank, it led to Turk lake, where 
in early pioneer days, the Indians had one of their favorite camping grounds. 
This trail continued around the south side of Turk lake and thence in a 
northeasterly direction to the Dickerson lakes in Sidney and Douglass town- 

"This up-river trail was crossed very near the Catholic church by the 
Saginaw and Pentwater trail, the most conspicuous and interesting of the 
North Michigan Tndian roads. Nearly fifty years ago this trail was quite 
distinct nearly all the way from Greenville to Bushnell township. It con- 
nected the waters of the Saginaw with streams flowing into Lake Michigan. 


"This trail crossed Flat river a few rods above the Washington street 
bridge at the toot of the Baldwin rapids, thence following a sag between 
Washington and (ass streets, passing in its course about midway between 
the Watson house and barn, thence across the ground occupied by the Cole 
store. Crossing Lafayette streets, it passed near the north side of the 
Kureka block. The Fureka block stands on the trail. Thence it took in its 
course points near the Methodist church and the residence of the late David 
Fliot. continuing in the same general direction until it struck the river, the 
bank of which it followed to the site of the Indian village located about a 
quarter of a mile above the site of the old Merritt mill. Its course was 
then northwesterly to Bass lake, in Spencer township, and thence in a course 
which is pretty direct, but far from being an air line, to the point where 
Pent water now stands on the shore of Fake Michigan. 

"That portion of this last trail from Greenville to Woolverton Plains 
was not only the most direct but by far the best footpath leading north and 
west from Greenville. It was not strange, therefore, that it was the route 
taken by nearly all who were going or coining between the Underbill mills 
and Woolverton Plains to and from Greenville. From the Indian village 
another trail led to the Ziengenfuss lake. 

"In those days if one wished to go to any point north of Greenville, 
the best thing to be done was to go on foot; if. however, one had plenty of 
time or had more baggage than could be carried, one might go to Seaman's 
liverv stable in Greenville and for the sum of five dollars a day charter the 
only wheeled vehicle of the establishment, an old buckboard with old 'Jim' 
and 'Charley' as the propelling power." 

Mr. Jones found that, among the trails he examined, none seemed near 
as old as the one leading from Saginaw bay to Pentwater. It was this trail 
that he urged should be marked by some enduring monuments. 


By an act of the state Legislature, approved on March 27, 1848. the 
first state road was authorized in the county of Montcalm. Its route was to 
extend from the north line of section 17, township 9 north, range 8 west 
(Fureka), thence to the village of Grand Rapids, via Parker's ferry in the 
township of Plainfield. Kent county, and Thomas Addison, George Miller 
and Fthan Satterlee were appointed commissioners. On the 3rd of April. 
1848, George Gibson. Rufus K. Moore and George Loucks were chosen 
commissioners to lay out and establish a state road from "the quarter post 


011 the north line of section 17, in township 9 north, of range 8 west, thence 
to Mathew Van Vleck's, in Holland, Icnia county." 

A state road from Hastings, Barry county, via Tupper's mill to the 
village of Ionia, was established by an act approved on March 25, 1850, 
and J. W. T. Orr, John B. Welch and George Richmond were appointed 
commissioners. An act approved on February jo, 1857, named Rosecrans 
K. Divine, of Montcalm county: Aimer Wright, of Ionia county, and Eph- 
raim J. Booth, of Kent county, commissioners to law out a state road from 
Greenville, via Brosse's rapids, to Lowell. Kent county. A state road from 
St. Louis, Gratiot county, via Alma and the geographical center of Mont- 
calm county, to the Greenville and Big Rapids road, Avas authorized by an 
act approved on February 15. 1859. 

An act of March 13, i86r, ordered a state road established from 
Ionia to Houghton lake, in Roscommon county. Two days later an act was 
approved providing for the establishment of a road from Big Rapids, in 
Mecosta county, southerly to intersect a road from Greenville to Grand 
Rapids, known as the Big Rapids and Grand Rapids road, also the Green- 
ville and Big Rapids road, and a road from Ionia to Vermontville. It pro- 
Aided also that no appropriation be made on the first eight miles south from 

A road from the east center line of Bloomer township, via Follett's 
and Shoemaker's mill, in Fairplain. to the village of Greenville, in Mont- 
calm county, was established by an act approved on March 18, 1863. ^ n 
the 20th of the same month George Davenport was appointed a commis- 
sioner (o superintend the lay out of a road from the village of Portland, 
in Ionia county, to the Grand river, in Clinton county. The Ionia and 
Smyrna state road was established by an act approved on February 5, 1864, 
and to aid in its construction four sections of swamp lands were granted. 
Roger W. Griswold and Joseph N. Babcock were appointed commissioners 
of the Bellevue and Ionia state road by an act approved on March 10, 1865. 


The Montcalm and Gratiot road from Hubbardston, north on the line 
of Montcalm and Gratiot counties to the north line of said counties, was 
established by an act approved March 18, 1865. The Eaton, Ionia and 
Clinton road, from a line between Roxana and Oneida to the township of 
Portland, was established by an act of March 18, 1865, and S. W. Moyer, 
David Tavlor and Benjamin Seldon were named as commissioners. By the 


same act a road was established whose route extended from the geographi- 
cal center of Montcalm county (Stanton), to the southwest corner of town- 
ship 11 north, range 10 west (Piersou). and Hiram Rossman was appointed 

fn 1867 a large extent of state swamp lands was granted to aid in the 
construction of roads already mentioned. The last state road established 
during that period in Montcalm count)' is the one known as the Greenville 
and Bloomer road, the provisions for its construction having been approved 
on May 23. 1879. 

The minutes of the board of supervisors of Montcalm county show- 
that the first monev voted bv the supervisors for building a bridge in the 
county was ap'propriated on October 14, 1 8 5 t . At that time one hundred 
dollars was appropriated to build a bridge over Flat river on the section 
line between sections 10 and T5, in Kureka township. On April 11, 1853. 
the countv board of supervisors voted to raise one hundred dollars for a 
bridge over Fish creek, on or near section 26, in Bushnell township, and 
also appropriated twenty five dollars to build a bridge over Flat river near 
M. Rutan's saw-mill in the town of Eureka. 

On April io. 1855. the supervisors voted to raise fifty dollars to defray 
the expenses of the surveyor and the survey of the state road which was 
to be built bv authority of the state from Greenville to the falls of the 
Muskegon river. 

The first road, or rather the first opening in the forest, of Bushnell 
township, led from Palo northward to the saw-mill in Evergreen township. 
It was completed gradually. Tt led past the farm of Joseph Stevens and 
that of Tames Bacon, and was constructed the greater part of the distance 
through the township during the year 1840. Soon afterward the road was 
underbrushed in the east part of the township, and part of the way on the 
line between Bushnell and Bloomer townships. 


From July 20 to 31. 1002. a '"good roads exposition," under the aus- 
pices of the American ( 'ommission. the Montcalm County Road Makers 
and the United States office of public roads, was held at Greenville. At 
this exposition there was exhibited the most modern good-roads machinery 
for building and repairing roads. At this meeting addresses were delivered 
bv Hon. Martin Hodge, director of public roads; Frank P. Rogers, con- 
sulting engineer of the Michigan highway commission; W. L. Dickinson, 


president of the Connecticut Valley Highways Association; Senator H. S. 
.Marie and others. Governor Bliss was also one of the speakers. 

During the meeting of the Greenville Good Roads Association, a strip 
of road one-half mile in length was built north of Greenville. One-half of 
the road was on a gravel surface but the other half was on sand. Both por- 
tions stood well the test of the weather. The strip built of crushed stone 
became as hard as cement and was free, from water, ft cost at the rate of 
four hundred dollars a mile. Writing in the Stanton Weekly Clipper. 
December (>, U)02, Dr. A. \V. \ichols, pointed out some pertinent facts 
with regard to road building in Montcalm county. 

"One outfit, at the rate they built the road north of Greenville," said 
Doctor Xichols, '"could build sixteen miles each year, or fifty miles with 
three outfits, or two hundred miles in four years. Four running north and 
south and four running east and west would cover the principal roads of the 
county. This could be done in four years, so in ten years at this rate there 
ought not to be a foot of unimproved road in the county." 

Cn fortunately, the progress toward building improved roads was not 
as rapid as Doctor Xichols hoped, but the agitation of 1902 was really a 
landmark in the history of road building in Montcalm county. The agita- 
tion has never died out and the sentiment for better roads in the county is 
more active today than ever. The advent of the automobile, or rather the 
popularization of this mode of travel, especially among the farmers of the 
county, has had much to do with this growing sentiment. Montcalm county 
has many splendid roads today. The main-traveled thoroughfares, espe- 
cially those used by motorists, are as follow : From Tonia northwest to 
Belding. through Greenville and north to Lakeview ; from a point just south 
of Correction, west to Pierson and south to Cedar Springs in Kent county : 
from Greenville southwest to Grand Rapids in Kent county; from Tonia. 
in Tonia county, north through Sheridan and Stanton to the Midland and 
Kakeview road at the boundaries of Mecosta and Tsabella counties and from 
Stanton due east to the Gratiot county line and thence northeast to Alma. 

statk morrwAY COMMISSION. 

An act of the Michigan state Legislature, creating the office of state 
highway commissioner, was an important event in the good-roads move- 
ment of this state. In IQ09 the road laws were consolidated in a preten- 
tious act of twenty-four chapters, creating a state highway department 
charged "with the giving of instruction in the art of building, improving 


and repairing public wagon roads and bridges, collecting reports from town- 
ship and county highway commissioners, overseers of highways and super- 
intendents and commissioners of streets in villages and cities, and with the 
distribution of any state reward for improving the public wagon roads, 
that this Legislature or any future session may provide for, or any funds 
that may be given to the state for such purposes by the United States gov- 

An important feature of this act is the section which provides that the 
state highway commissioner may "refuse to grant any further road reward 
to any township or county that has been rewarded by the state for improv- 
ing roads, that does not keep these state-rewarded roads in proper repair." 

This same act also provides that a county may elect whether it will 
operate under the "township" or the "county" road system, and separate 
machinery is provided for the administration of each system. Although 
there was some sentiment favoring the "county" system in Montcalm countv. 
the proposition has never been submitted to the people for direct vote, as 
required by the consolidated act. and the county has continued to operate 
under the "township" system. 

On Tune 15. igir. the Greenville Good Roads Association was organ- 
ized for the purpose of aiding in the construction of good roads leading into 
the citv of Greenville. The directors for the first year, named in the articles 
of incorporation, were ('. G. Tarke. P. D. Ldsall, TT. TT. Decker, J. G. New- 
brough. F. A. Johnson. G. \Y. Riley, H. S. Jaconson. G. TT. Gibson and Ray 
S. Gowin. 


Very soon after Michigan emerged from a condition of a territory to 
assume that of a sovereign state, and even before its admission as a mem- 
ber of the Union, measures were originated having for their object the 
adoption by the state, of a comprehensive system of public improvements; 
and in pursuance of this plan the Legislature, at the. session of 1837, passed 
an act (approved March jo), "to provide for the construction of certain 
works of internal improvement, and for other purposes," by which the board 
of commissioners of internal improvements in the state was authorized and 
directed, "as soon as may be to cause surveys to be made for three several 
railroad routes across the peninsula of Michigan, the first of said routes to 
commence at Detroit, in the county of Wayne, and to terminate at the 
mouth of St. Joseph river, in the county of Rerrien, to be denominated the 
Gentral railroad ; the second of said routes to commence at the navigable 


waters of the river Raisin, passing through the village of Berrien county, 
and to be denominated the Southern railroad; the third of said routes to 
commence at Palmer, or at or near the mouth of Black river, in the county 
of St. Clair, and to terminate at the navigable waters of Grand river, in 
the comity of Kent or on Lake Michigan, in the county of Ottawa, to be 
denominated the Northern railroad; which roads shall be located on the 
most eligible and direct routes between the termini above mentioned." It 
was provided by the same act. "that the sum of five hundred and fifty thou- 
sand dollars be and the same is hereby appropriated, to be taken from any 
moneys which shall hereafter come into the treasury of this state to the 
credit of the fund for internal improvements, for the survey and making 
of the three railroads mentioned in the first section of this act, as follow: 
For the Southern railroad, the sum of one hundred thousand dollars; for 
the Central railroad, the sum of four hundred thousand dollars, and for the 
Northern railroad, the sum of fifty thousand dollars.'' 

The state board of internal improvement, acting under the provisions 
of this act. caused the surveys to be made without unnecessary delay. The 
routes thus surveyed for the Central railroad and the Southern railroad 
were, excepting the western portion, substantiallv the same as those of the 
Michigan Central and Michigan Southern railroad of the present. The 
Northern railroad route was surveyed and located to run from the St. Clair 
river by way of Lapeer and Flint River village, now- Flint city, nearly due 
west to the Big Rapids of the Shiawassee, now the city of Owosso ; thence 
through Owosso and Middlebury townships in Shiawassee county, and west- 
wardly in the same tier of townships through Clinton county (passing 
through the southern part of the present corporation limits of St. John's) 
to Lyons, in Tonia county, and from there westward to Lake Michigan at 
the mouth of Grand river, a distance of two hundred and one miles. This 
was the first survey made for railroad purposes near Montcalm county. 
The work was done by Tracy McCracken, chief engineer of the road, and 
his assistants under supervision of Commissioner James B. Hunt, who had 
been placed in charge of the survey by the board of internal improvement. 


Tn 1838 contracts were let for clearing and grubbing that portion of 
the line between its eastern terminus and Lyons, Ionia county, a distance 
of about one hundred and thirty miles. The contract for the section extend- 
ing from Lyons to the line between ranges 2 and 3 east, near the center of 
Shiawassee county, was awarded to A. L. and B. O. Williams, of Owosso. 


The section joining- this and extending eastward across the remainder of 
Shiawassee county, was taken by A. H. Vcach & Company, of Flint. The 
next section eastward was awarded to Gen. Charles C. Hascall, of Flint. 
Twenty miles of the section east of Lyons was sublet by the Williams 
Brothers to Messrs. Moore & Kipp at about two hundred and fifty dollars 
per mile. The specifications required the grubbing- of a central strip twenty 
feet wide, and the clearing of a breadth of twenty feet on either side of this 
strip. Outside these clearings, on both sides, "slashings"' were to be made, 
each twenty feet in width, making a total breadth of one hundred feet. The 
work of clearing the route, was commenced in the fall of 1838, and by the 
1st of September, following, it was completed in all the sections between 
Lyons and Port Huron, except about three miles in Shiawassee county, east 
of Owosso, and seventeen miles east of Lapeer. 

Contracts for grading some parts of the line were made in the fall of 
T838, among these being that of a ten-mile section eastward from Lyons, 
to B. O. Williams and Daniel Ball, of Owosso. The work of grading was 
commenced on the contracted sections in January. tSq^. and was prosecuted 
till the following July. "The contractors then stated," said the chief engi- 
neer, in his report dated December 7, rtf^Q. "that unless thev were paid 
punctually they could not proceed with their work. T then informed them, 
in accordance with my instructions, that if they continued to work their 
estimates would, as usual, be made monthly, but that it was probable that 
they would only be paid in treasury orders, which would be payable out of 
any moneys received into the treasury to the credit of the. internal improve- 
ment fund. The contracts for grading were then abandoned immediately, 
but those for clearing and grubbing, which were not then finished, have 
since been completed." In regard to these contracts for grubbing and clear- 
ing, the chief engineer said • "Tt may not be improper for me to state that 
it is probable that many of the contracts upon this road were let to those 
who considered that, they were to be benefited by its speedy completion, and. 
in consequence bid so low that they have lost money in the prosecution of 
the works assigned them." This remark of the engineer was probably as 
applicable to the grading contracts as to those made for clearing the line. 
Tt is certain, at all events, that those who took the latter class of contracts 
found them to be decidedly unprofitable. 

The last of the appropriations by the Legislature for the construction 
of the Northern railroad was one of forty thousand dollars made by act 
approved on April 20, T830, making the total amount appropriated for the 


enterprise one hundred and fifty thousand dollars. Of this there was 
expended upon the line in surveys, clearing and construction, the following 
amounts, namely: 1837, $8,226.25; 1838, $12,772.44; 1839, $39« I22 -°9J 
total, $60,120.78. 


These figures show that at the close of operations in 1839 there 
remained of the amount of appropriations made for this northern line of 
railroads, an unexpended balance of $89,879.22. in view of this fact, it 
might be regarded as strange that with this large balance remaining, the 
work should have so suddenly been brought to a close; but it must be 
remembered that the figures indicating the unexpended balance did not rep- 
resent a corresponding amount of ready cash on hand and immediately 
available. The extracts already given from the chief engineer's report fully 
explain the reason why the contractors abandoned their jobs in the summer 
of 1839, and it only remains to say that the construction of the Northern 
railroad, being suspended at that, time, was never resumed. Today, how- 
ever, the proposed route of the Northern railway is generally covered by the 
lines of the Grand Trunk system. 

Soon after this, the financial embarrassments of the state caused a feel- 
ing to spread among the people and their representatives that the adoption 
of so extensive a plan of internal improvements had been premature, to say 
the least; and the result of this growing sentiment was the restriction of 
appropriations to such works as returned, or could easily be made to return, 
the interest on their cost. Accordingly, further aid was withheld, except 
to the Central and Southern lines, then in partial operation, and finally, in 
1 841, all idea of the construction of the Northern railroad as a state work- 
was abandoned, and the Legislature passed "an act relative to the appro- 
priation upon the Northern railroad," which recited in its preamble that "it 
is thought impolitic under the present embarrassments of the state, to make 
at present further expenditures on said road for the purpose of a railroad ;"' 
that "a large amount has been expended in chopping, grubbing and clearing 
said road, which, if left in its present condition can be of no interest to the 
people of the north;" and that "it is the united wish and request of the 
people in the vicinity of said road that the same should for the present be 
converted into a turnpike or wagon road, and thus open an important 
thoroughfare through the center of the tier of counties through which the 
said road passes, and thereby render the money heretofore expended on 


said road available to the best interest of the people in the northern section 
of the state." 

Tt was therefore enacted that the commissioners of internal improve- 
ment he directed to expend thirty thousand dollars of the unexpended bal- 
ance of the moneys which had been appropriated for the Northern railroad 
"for bridges, clearing and grading said road, or so much of it as the said 
commissioners shall judge will be most beneficial to the inhabitants and 
public in the section of the country through which the same passes, so as to 
make a good passable wagon road." 


On March 9, J 843, an act. was approved "to authorize the construction 
of a wagon road on the line of the Northern railroad," and ordering the 
application and appropriation for that purpose of all the non-resident high- 
way taxes for a distance of three miles on either side of the line, to be 
expended under the superintendence of a special commissioner to be 
appointed for each of the counties of St. Clair, Lapeer, Genesee, Shiawas- 
see, Clinton and Ionia. The act was repealed in 1846, but in the following- 
year another act was passed "to provide for the construction and improve- 
ment of the Northern wagon road from Port Huron, in the county of St. 
('lair, through the counties of Lapeer and Genesee, to Corunna, in the 
county of Shiawassee," and appropriating "twenty thousand acres of inter- 
nal improvement lands" for the purpose. 

To carry its provisions into effect the governor of the state was author- 
ized to appoint a special commissioner, and he did so appoint to that com- 
mission the Hon. Alvin M. Hart, of Lapeer. Still another act was passed, 
in 1849, appointing Lewis S. Tyler, Albert Miller and Henry Hunt as com- 
missioners, "with power to re-locate, upon the most eligible ground, the 
Northern wagon road from the village of Flint, in the county of Genesee, 
to the village of Corunna, in the county of Shiawassee." 

The result of all the laws passed and appropriations made for the con- 
struction of the Northern railroad and Northern wagon road was the clear- 
ing of the route of the former, as before mentioned, and the grading or 
partial grading, of parts of the route into an indifferent wagon road, which 
never proved to be of much practical advantage to the country west of the 
western borders of Shiawassee county. This history is given more or less 
in detail because it deals with a period of development in which Montcalm 


county was directly interested, even though it never derived much profit 
from the proposals. 


At the present time three main railroad systems cross Montcalm county, 
namely, the Grand Trunk, the Grand Rapids & Indiana and the Pere Mar- 

The Grand Trunk lines in Montcalm county include that portion of the 
Toledo, Saginaw & Muskegon Railway Company crossing the county and 
passing through Greenville, Sheridan and Carson City. Altogether, there 
are about twenty-live miles of main trackage. The Toledo, Saginaw & 
Muskegon Railway Company, which was chartered January 25, 1886, under 
the laws of the state of Michigan, is controlled by the Grand Trunk through 
the ownership of its entire capital stock by the shareholders of the Grand 
Trunk Railway Company of Canada. The total length of the Toledo, 
Saginaw & Muskegon, from Ashley to Muskegon, is 95.91 miles, but it also 
has trackage rights over the Ann Arbor railroad, from Ashley to Owosso 
Junction, a distance of 20.5 miles. The company owns one passenger car, 
two baggage cars, ten box and fourteen flat cars and five service cars. The 
capital stock of the road amounts to $1,600,000 and the funded debt to 
$1,662,000. In TQ13 the road had an operating deficit of $57,739. 

in Montcalm county the Grand Trunk has a junction with the Howard 
City-Ionia branch of the Pere Marquette and also the Stanton-Greenville 
branch of the Pere Marquette at Greenville. At Sheridan it has a junction 
with the Stanton-Tonia branch of the Pere Marquette. Stations on the 
Grand Trunk in Montcalm county, beginning at the west line of the county 
and in order, are Greenville, Millers, Sheridan, Bushnell. Vickeryville. But- 
ternut and Carson City. y[ 


The Grand Rapids & Indiana railroad, which extends from Richmond, 
Indiana, through Ft. Wayne, Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids to Traverse 
City and beyond to Petoskcy and Mackinaw City, passes through the 
extreme western part of Montcalm county with the stations of Pierson, 
Hiram, Maple Hill, Howard City and Reynolds, in Montcalm county. How- 
ard City is the most important point on this railroad in Montcalm county. 

The Grand Rapids & Indiana railway was opened from Ft. Wayne to 
Sturgis. Michigan. June 22, 1870: to Kalamazoo, September, 1870; to 


Grand Rapids, October, 1870; from Grand Rapids to Cedar Springs, Decem- 
ber 23, 1867; to Morley, June 21, 1869; to Paris, August 12, 1870; to Clam 
lake (Cadillac), December, 1871 ; to Fife Lake, September, 1872; to Petos- 
key, May, 1874. 

The Grand Rapids & Indiana Railway Company is controlled by the 
Pennsylvania Railway Company, but is operated by its own organization. 
On December 31. 1912. the total mileage operated amounted to 577.73, 
including 421.75 miles owned, 148.48 miles operated and trackage rights 
of 7.^ miles. The mileage of the company in Montcalm county is 12.5. The 
present company was chartered in July, 1896, under the laws of Michigan 
and Indiana to take over the property of the Grand Rapids & Indiana Rail- 
road Company, which was sold under foreclosure of the second mortgage 
on June to, 1896. The property was transferred to the new company on 
August 1, t8q6. The present company owns practically the entire capital 
stock and all the income bonds of the Traverse City Railroad Company, and 
also owns a one-third interest in the Mackinaw Transportation Company. 
Furthermore, the company owns seventy-five thousand dollars of the bonds 
and twenty-five per cent, of the capital stock of the Traverse City, Leelanau 
& Manistique Railroad Company. For many years the Grand Rapids & 
Indiana Railway Company was a one-sixth owner of the capital stock of 
the Mackinaw Island Hotel Company, but in 1909 this interest was sold for 
twenty-three acres of valuable land adjoining the hotel. 

The capital stock of the Grand Rapids & Indiana Railway Company is 
S5.7OT.700. of which the Pennsylvania Railway Company owns $2,965,900. 
The funded debts amounts to $10,125,000. but this does not include the 
capital and funded debt of underlying companies. 


The I 'ere Marquette Railroad Company, which operates a greater 
mileage in Montcalm county than any other system, operates a line from 
Ionia to Howard City, where it connects with the Grand Rapids & Indiana, 
through Greenville, North Greenville. Gowen, Trufant and Coral, in Mont- 
calm county: a line from Howard City to Saginaw, passing through Amble, 
Lakeview, Six Lakes, Fdmore and Vestaburg; a line from Greenville, 
through Moeller and Sidney to Stanton, and the line from Haynor, just 
north of Ionia, through Fenwick, Sheridan, Colby, Stanton, McBride, 
Fdmore and Wytnan, in Montcalm county, to Big Rapids, in Mecosta county. 

The Detroit & Howell Railroad Company and the Howell & Lansing 


Railroad Company were first consolidated, forming the Detroit, Howell & 
Lansing Railroad Company. These companies were organized by local 
interests on the line between Detroit and Lansing, to construct a road con- 
necting the above points. Local aid was secured and a large part of the 
road between Plymouth and Howell was graded, but no track laid. Entrance 
to the city of Detroit, with right of way down Fourth street and property 
on the corner of .Fourth street and Grand River avenue for location of ter- 
minals was secured. Afterward the stock of the Detroit, Howell & Lans- 
ing road was purchased by the Hon. James F. Joy, then president of the 
Michigan Central railroad and his associates, and the main line was deflected 
to connect with that road at West Detroit; the right of way down Fourth 
street was abandoned and the property near the corner of Fourth and 
Grand River was sold. 


The Ionia & Lansing Railroad Company was organized by Lansing, 
Jonia, Portland and other local districts along the line, and the road was 
constructed from Lansing to Ionia; opened in December, 1869, and extended 
to Greenville in September, 1870. The road was sold to James F. Joy and 
his associates in 1870, and consolidated with the Detroit, Howell & Lansing 
railroad in that year, forming the Detroit, Lansing & Lake Michigan Rail- 
road Company. That part of the road from Detroit to Howard City, of the 
Detroit, Lansing & Lake Michigan railroad, except the part between Lans- 
ing and Greenville, was constructed in 1871, and opened for business in the 
month of August, that year. 

The Ionia, Stanton & Northern Railroad Company, comprising the 
line from Ionia to Big Rapids, was organized in 1872 by parties in the 
interest of the Detroit, Lansing & Lake Michigan Railroad Company, and 
was subsequently consolidated with that company. The road was opened 
for business from Stanton Junction to Stanton in February, 1873, and was 
subsequentlv extended from time to time until 1880, when it was completed 
to Rig Rapids. The Bel ding branch from Kiddville to Belding was built 
bv local interests and acquired by the Lake Michigan road in 1876. 

Tn 1875 the Detroit, Lansing & Lake Michigan Railroad Company 
defaulted in the payment of interest on its mortgage bonds, the trustees 
named in the mortgage took possession of the property under the terms of 
the mortgage, and, pending the reorganization, the property was operated 
by Hon. fames F. Joy, as agent for the trustees. On December 26, 1876, 


the purchasers of the road, under judicial sale, tiled articles of association 
with the secretary of state at Lansing, Michigan, of the Detroit, Lansing 
& Northern Railroad Company. This company took over all the property, 
rights and franchises of the Detroit, Lansing & Lake Michigan Railroad 

The Saginaw Valley & St. Louis Railroad Company, from Saginaw to 
St. Louis, was constructed by Saginaw parties and opened from Raines 
junction to St. Louis in January, 1873. The Saginaw Valley & St. Louis 
Railroad Company entered into a contract with the Jackson, Lansing & 
Saginaw Railroad Company, and the Michigan Central Railroad Company, 
giving the Saginaw Valley & St. Louis Railroad Company perpetual rights 
over the road of the Jackson, Lansing & Saginaw Railroad Company, 
between Flint and Fere Marquette crossing and Raines Junction, including 
the terminal facilities of the Jackson, Lansing & Saginaw Railroad Com- 
pany in Saginaw, on payment of the sum of $40,000. 

In 1879 all the stock of the Saginaw Valley & St. Louis Railroad 
Company, except a few shares which could not be located, was purchased 
by parties in the interest of the Detroit, Lansing & Northern Railroad Com- 
pany, and the road was operated by the Detroit. Lansing & Northern Rail- 
road Company, but the accounts were kept distinct from the accounts of the 
Detroit, Lansing & Northern Railroad Company. 

The Saginaw & Grand Rapids railroad from St.. Louis to Alma was 
built by the stockholders of the Saginaw Valley & St. Louis railroad in 
March, 1879, as an extension of the Saginaw Valley & St. Louis railroad. 

The Saginaw & Western railroad from St. Louis to Howard City has 
a typical history. The Chicago. Saginaw & Canada Railroad Company 
built the line from St. Louis to Cedar Lake in 1875. That road was placed 
in the hands of D. D. F.rwin, as receiver, and by him leased to John A. 
Elwell, who extended the road to Lakeview in T878 and 1879. In 1883 the 
road was sold under order of the court and was purchased by parties in the 
interest of the Detroit, Lansing & Northern railroad, and in August, T876, 
was opened from Lakeview to Howard City, under the name of the Sagi- 
naw & Western Railroad Company. The branch from Greenville to .Stan- 
ton was completed in 1.901 and was built by Carland & Warner, of Toledo. 

Some years after the organization of the Detroit, Lansing & Northern 
Railroad Company, in 1876, the property of the company in Montcalm 
countv was taken over by the Detroit, Grand Rapids & Western, and in 


1899 it was consolidated with the Flint & Fere Marquette and became part 
of the Pere Marquette, under whose management it has since been operated. 


Several different trolley lines have been proposed through Montcalm 
county but so far none has been built. The people of the county have been 
extremely interested in these various projects and would undoubtedly sup- 
port any enterprise of this kind in a very liberal way. 

As early as May 31. 1901, the Stunt on Weekly Clipper reprinted the 
following dispatch from Saginaw : ''The project to connect Saginaw and 
Grand Rapids by means of an electric railway is now assured of success, 
the company having been incorporated with $1,000,000 capital and the 
bonds having been taken by an eastern syndicate. The route, will be from 
Grand Rapids to Greenville, thence to Stanton. Fdmore, Alma and St. 
Louis. The line from Stanton to Grand Rapids will be built first, then the 
portion from Saginaw to Alma, and the intervening link will probably not 
be completed until next year. Work is already under way on the western 
portion of the road. It will he known as the Grand Rapids & Saginaw 
electric railroad. The company is incorporated under Xe.w Jersey laws, 
and will soon he incorporated in this state." 

Although the building of this line seemed "assured," and although 
everything reciled actually had been done, the road was never built and the 
enterprise still await c the organizing genius of the entrepreneur. 

More recently a movement has been started by the leading capitalists 
of Muskegon and Gasnovia to build an electric road through Montcalm 
county. The route of the proposed trolley line passes through Gasnovia, 
near While Fish lake, through Pierson. Trufant, Fangston. Stanton, Crys- 
tal. Ithica. St. Charles and on to Saginaw, flow soon this road will be 
built is a matter of speculation or guesswork in which one man's guess is as 
good as another. There can lie no question of the pressing need of trolley 
service as an outlet for this splendid section of the state. 



The state of Michigan furnished 90,048 troops for service in the Civil 
War, of which .Montcalm county furnished approximately 640 troops of all 
•classes. Of these 040 troops, 350 were credited to the county under the 
enrollment system and 287 enlisted prior to September 19, 1863. 

From November 1, 18O4, until the close of the war, there were 47 
enlistments in (he army from Montcalm county and 26 recruited from the 
draft during the same period. Of the J^ enlistments and drafts, subsequent 
to November 1, 1864, there were 70 for one year's service and 3 for three 
years' service. The total enrollment on December 31, 1864, from Mont- 
calm county was 527 and the quota charged to Montcalm county in the call 
of December 19, 1864, was ^° troops. 

The military census of September 10, 1862, showed that Montcalm 
county had returned 240 troops in June previously, under state law and that 
there were at that time ^/j male persons living in Montcalm county between 
the ages of eighteen and forty-five, and therefore subject to draft. 

During the entire war Montcalm county furnished troops to fifteen dif- 
ferent regiments of infantry, including one reorganized regiment; eight 
regiments of cavalry; one regiment of colored troops; one regiment of 
United States sharpshooters; one regiment of engineers and mechanics, 
and one regiment of Michigan sharpshooters. By far the largest number of 
troops furnished any one regiment by Montcalm county was recruited by 
the Twenty-first regiment, the rolls of which credit 137 soldiers to Montcalm 


The Twenty-first Regiment, Michigan Volunteer Infantry, was recruited 
from Barry. Ionia. Montcalm. Kent. Ottawa, Muskegon, Oceana, X T ewaygo, 
Mecosta, Mason, Manistee. Grand Traverse, Leelanaw Manitou, Osceola, 
Emmet, Mackinac, Delta and Cheboygan counties. The rendezvous of the 
regiment was at Ionia, recruiting having been begun on July 15, 1862. The 
regiment was mustered into the service of the United States on September 


4, 1862. The regiment left its quarters at Ionia on September 12, 1862, in 
command of Colonel Stevens, 1,008 strong, under orders to report at Cin- 
cinnati. It was immediately rushed forward into Kentucky via Louisville 
and soon became actively engaged in the realities of the war. A beautiful 
silk ilag was provided by the ladies of Ionia. This flag was carried through 
all the engagements of the regiment, brought back to the state, and at a cele- 
bration on July 4, 1865, was formally returned, on behalf of the regiment, 
to the ladies by the Hon. John Avery, of Greenville, the highest ranking 
officer of the regiment present, and was received on behalf of the ladies by 
the lion. John B. Hutchins, of Ionia. 

On October 8, 1862, the Twenty-first regiment bore an important part 
in the battle of Perryville, Kentucky, suffering a loss of 24 wounded, 1 mor- 
tally, and 3 missing, Colonel Stevens being among the wounded. The 
Twenty-first regiment participated in encounters with the enemy at Perry- 
ville, Kentucky, October 8, 1862: Lavergne, Tennessee, December 27, 1862; 
Stewart's Creek. Tennessee, December 29, 1862; Stone's River, Tennessee, 
December 29, 31, T862, and January 1, 2, 3, 1863; Tullahoma, Tennessee, 
June 24, 1863; Elk River, Tennessee, July 1, 1863; Chickamauga, Tennes- 
see, September iq, 20. 21, 1863; Chattanooga. Tennessee, October 6, 1863; 
Brown's Ferry, Tennessee, October 27, T863; Missionary Ridge, Tennessee, 
November 26, 1863; Savannah. Georgia, December 11. 18, 20, 21, 1864; 
Aversyboro. North Carolina, March 16, 1865; Bentonville. North Carolina. 
March 19. 1865. 

The final reports of the regiment showed that it had a total membership 
of T.477 officers and men, while its losses were 1 officer and 40 men killed 
in action. 2 officers and 3T men died of wounds, and 3 officers and 29T men 
died of disease — a total of 3.368. 


The Eighth Regiment, Michigan Volunteer Tnfantry, to which Mont- 
calm county furnished a little less than fifty men, was ordered to rendezvous 
at Grand Rapids. August 21, 1861. and after being ordered to Ft. Wayne 
was mustered into the service of the United States on September 23, 1861. 
The regiment participated in the second battle of Bull Run, Antietam, Fred- 
ericksburg, the campaign around Richmond and the capture of Petersburg. 

There were approximately sixty enlistments from Montcalm county in 
the Tenth Michigan Cavalry, the rendezvous of which was at Grand Rapids. 
The regiment was raised under the direction of Col. Thaddeus Foote, of the 


Sixth Michigan Cavalry. Recruiting began on July 4, 1863, and the regi- 
ment was mustered into the service of the United States on November 18, 
1863, having on its rolls (J12 officers and men. 

The regiment left its rendezvous on December 1, 1863, in command of 
Colonel Foote, under orders to proceed to the held in Kentucky, via Cincin- 
nati to Lexington, where it remained until January 25, 1804, when it moved 
to Burnside .Point, having engaged the enemy at House Mountain. Other 
engagements and skirmishes of the regiment were : Bean's Gap, Tennessee, 
March 26, J8O4; Rheatown, March 24; Jonesboro, March J5; Johnsonville. 
March 25; Watauga, March 25; Powder Spring (jap, April 28; Dandridge, 
May 19; Greenville, May 30; White Horn, May 3] ; Morristown, June 2; 
.Bean's Station, June 16; Rogersville, June 17; Kingsport, June 18; Can 
Branch, June 20; New Marker, June 2i\ Moseburg, June 28; William's 
Ford. June 25; Dutch Bottom, June 28; Sevierville, July 5; Newport, July 
8; Morristown, August 3; Greenville, August 4; Mossy Creek, August 18; 
Bull's Gap, August 21: Blue Spring, August 2^; Greenville, August 2^; 
Strawberry Plains, August 24; Flat Creek, August 24; Rogersville, August 
27; Bull's Gap, August 29; Greenville, September 4; Sweet Water, Septem- 
ber 10; Thorn Hill, September 10; Seiverville, September 18; Jonesboro, 
September 30; Johnson Station, October 1; Watauga Bridge, October 1-2; 
Chucky Bend, October 10; Newport, October 18; Irish Bottoms, October 
25; Madisonville, October 30; Morristown, November 20; Strawberry 
Plains, November 23-24: Kingsport, December 12; Bristol, December 14; 
Saltville, Virginia. December 20; Chucky Bend, January 10, 1865; Brab- 
son's Mills, March 25; Boonville. North Carolina, .March 2y; Henry Court 
House, April 8; Abbott Creek, April 10; High Point, April 10; Statesville, 
April 14; Newton, April 17, 1865. 


The Tenth Cavalry had while in service a membership of 2,050 officers 
and men, and its losses were 271, of whom 2 officers and 18 men were 
killed in action. 11 men died of wounds and 240 of disease. 

The First Fngineers and Mechanics, which included forty-three men 
from Montcalm county, was mustered in at Marshall, October 29, 1861, and 
was mustered out at Nashville, Tennessee, September 22, 1865. 

The Second Infantry, which included four men from Montcalm, was 
mustered into the service at Detroit, May 25. i86r, and mustered out at 
Delaney House. D. C, July 28, 1865. 


The Third Infantry, which included twelve men from Montcalm, was 
mustered into the service at Grand Rapids. July 10, 1861, and mustered out 
at Detroit, June 20, 1864. 

The Third Reorganized Infantry was mustered into the service at 
Grand Rapids. October 1^., 1864, and mustered out of service at Victoria, 
Texas. May 25, r866. It included fourteen men from Montcalm. 

The Ninth Infantry, which included five men from Montcalm county, 
was mustered into service at Detroit. October 15, 186 .1, and mustered out 
at Nashville, September T5, 1865. 

The Fifteenth 'Infantry, which, included nine men from Montcalm 
county, was mustered into service at Monroe, March 20, 1862, and mustered 
out of service at Little Rock, Arkansas, August 13, 1865. 

The Sixteenth Infantry, which included seventeen men from Montcalm 
county, was mustered into service at Detroit, September 8, 1861, and mus- 
tered out of service at JefYersonville, Indiana, July 8, 3865. 

The Twenty-seventh Infantry was mustered into service April 10, 1863, 
at Ypsilanti, and mustered out of service at Delaney House, D. C, July 26, 
1865. It had three men from Montcalm county. 

The First Cavalry, which included four men from Montcalm county, 
was mustered into service on September 13. 1861. at Detroit, and mustered 
out of service on March to. t866. at Salt Lake City. Utah. 

The Second Cavalry, which included nine men from Montcalm countv, 
was mustered into service on October 2. t86t, at Grand Rapids, and mus- 
tered out of service at Macon, Georgia, August 17, 1865. 

The Third Cavalry, which included six men from Montcalm, was mus- 
tered into service on November 1, t86t, at Grand Rapids, and mustered out 
of service at San Antonio, Texas. February 12, 1865. 

The Fourth Cavalry, including one man from Montcalm, was mustered 
into service on August 20, T862. at Detroit, and mustered out of service on 
July 1. T865. at Nashville, Tennessee. 

The Fifth Cavalry, including at least one man from Montcalm, was 
mustered into service on August 30. 1862, at Detroit, and mustered out of 
service on June 22. 1865. at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas. 

The Sixth Cavalry, including six men from Montcalm county, was 
mustered into service on October 13, T862, at Detroit, and mustered out of 
service on November 24, 1865, at FT. Leavenworth, Kansas. 

The Seventh Cavalry, including three men from Montcalm county, was 
mustered into service on January t6, 1863, at Grand Rapids, and mustered 
out of service on December 15, 1865, at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas. 


The .Fifth Infantry was mustered into service on August 28, 1861, at 
Detroit, and mustered out of service on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, 
Indiana. It included one man from Montcalm county. 

The Tenth Infantry, including- three men from Montcalm, was mus- 
tered into service on February 6, 1862, at Flint, and mustered out of service 
on July 19. 1865, at Louisville, Kentucky. 

The Twelfth infantry was mustered into service on March 5, 1862, at 
Niles, and mustered out of service on February 15, 1866, at Camden, 
Arkansas. It included four men from Montcalm county. 

The Thirteenth Infantry, including five men from Montcalm county, 
was mustered into service on January 17, T862. at Kalamazoo, and mus- 
tered out of service on July 25. 1865. 

The Fourteenth Infantry, including fourteen men from Montcalm 
county, was mustered into service on February 13. 1862, at Ypsilanti, and 
mustered out of service on July t8. T865. at Louisville. Kentucky. 

The Twenty-sixth Infantry, including one man from Montcalm couutv. 
was mustered into service on December T2, 1862, at Jackson, and mustered 
out of service on July 4, 1865, at Alexandria, Virginia. 

There were also two men from Montcalm county in the One Hundred 
and Second United States Colored Infantry. 

The following roll of Montcalm county is far from complete, since it- 
gives only a little more than 400 of the approximately 640 soldiers accred- 
ited to Montcalm county during the war. There are probably errors in the 
roll as it now stands. Many are unaccounted for, inasmuch as they enlisted 
in adjoining counties and were accredited to the counties where they 

The following is the roll : 


Company B — George YV. Yaner, mustered out at expiration of service, 
June 6, 1864. 

Company C — Daniel P>. Converse, mustered out, July 28, T865 ; Andrew 
S. Phillips, mustered out, June 12. 1865. 

Company K — Alfred R. (sham, discharged by order, May 3, 1865. 


Company A — James K. Fisher, discharged at end of service, June 10, 


Company C — Jacob Weaver, veteranized, December 23, 1863, mustered 
out, July 5, 1865. 

Company I) — Ezra Stuart, discharged at end of service, June 16, 1864. 

Company E — George Butterworth, veteranized, December 23, 1863. 
mustered out, July 5, 1865; Dwight Towsley, veteranized, December 22,, 
1803; P)iiel Towsley, discharged for disability; Edwin Van Wert, dropped 
from rolls while prisoner of war; Stephen G. Wheaton, mustered out, Aug- 
ust 4. 1865. 

Company E— --Edwin M. Blair, discharged for disability, July 30, 1861 ; 
John J. Lacy, discharged for disability, July 30, 186 r; Congou Olcott, trans- 
ferred to Fifth Infantry. 

Company K — Sidney Fox, died of disease at Fortress Monroe, October 
20. 1862. 


Company B- -Robert S. Buchanan, mustered out, May 19, 1805 ; James 
Chamberlain, discharged at end of service, February 23, 1866; Ripley Hodge, 
mustered out, August 16, 1865; Andrew W. Main, mustered out, August 
25, 1865; William X. Main, mustered out, May 25, 1866; John Peck, mus- 
tered out, May 25, 1866. 

Company C — Schuyler Aldrich, died of disease at Victoria, Texas, May 
ly, i8(')6; Smith C. Hell, mustered out, February 27, 1866; Thomas 1). 
Davis, mustered out. May 25, ]86n; Benjamin S. Everest, mustered out,. 
September 5, 186^. 

Company D — George V'erder, mustered out, May 25, 1866. 

Company F— Henry Arntz, mustered out, July 31, 1865; Silas Dicker- 
son, mustered out, Mav 25, 1866; Hiram Turrell, mustered out, June 18,. 


Company C — Constantine Schlappi, mustered out, July 30, 1865. 

Company D — John Egbert, mustered out, July 30, 1865. 

Company E — Dias TT. Grow, discharged for disability, July 22, 1862; 
Charles Hubbs, discharged for wounds, May t8. 1865; J onn R. Holcomb, 
died of disease near Petersburg. Virginia, July 2, 1864; Samuel Hubbs. 
mustered out, July 30. 1865 ; William Judd, discharged at end of service, 
September 22, 1864; George W. Light, veteranized, January 15, 1864 ; 
Henry FT. Peck, died in action at Petersburg, Virginia, June 3, 1864; Aaron- 
Shawl, died in action at Cold Harbor, Virginia, June 3, 1864; Henry C. 


Smith, died oi disease at Washington, July 31, 1864; Charles D. Spencer, 
discharged at end of service, October 27, 1862. 

Company b — Charles C. Harvey, died near Petersburg, Virginia, June 

23, 1864; Q- M. Serg. Gilmore H. Noble, mustered out, July 30, 1865. 

Company C- First Lieut, George A. Wells, Greenville; commissioned, 
June 17, 1864; second lieutenant Company A, August 15, 1863; Clustered 
out, July 30, 1864. 

Company 11- -First Lieut. Austin \V. Green, Greenville; enlisted as 
sergeant, September 1, 1861. ; promoted second lieutenant, January 1, 1863; 
promoted captain Company F, June 3, 1864; resigned, July 25, 1804. Serg. 
Decatur O. Blake, discharged, October 24, 1862; Serg. William R. Collier, 
discharged at end of service, September 27, 1864; Serg. Marsena A. New- 
bun/, veteranized, December 29. 1863, mustered out, July 30, 1865; Serg. 
Joshua H. Xoah, discharged, October 24, 1862; William F. Byswater, dis- 
charged at end of service, September 22, 1864; Robert B. Rouer, transferred 
to Company 1, October 1.. i86r; William F. Barton, died of wounds at 
Alexandria, September 16, 1862; James H. I>arton, died in action at Wil- 
mington Island, Georgia, April i(>, 1862; Nelson Cross, died at New York 
of wounds. July 14, 1862; Charles Cross, discharged for disability, October 

24, 1862; John Douglass, discharged at end of service, September 22, 1864; 
John Davis, veteranized, January 15, 1864; Henry Dryer, died of wounds 
at Washington, D. C. June 11, 1864; Flijah Fl. Fisher, discharged to enlist 
in regular service, December 31, 1862; W'illiam Lampman, discharged for 
disability, December 28, 1861 ; Andrew McOmber, discharged for disability, 
November 2j, 1862; George Meginley, discharged at end of service, Sep- 
tember 22. 1864; Orange P. Noah, discharged for disability, October 24, 
1862; James Parkill, discharged for disability, October 11, 1862; Herman 
Rossman, veteranized, February 17, 1864. mustered out, July 30, 1865; 
Albert Rolla, veteranized, December 29, 1863, died of wounds at Fredericks- 
burg, Virginia, May T2, T864; Octavius Skey, discharged for disability, 
March 27, 1862; Reuben D. Smith, discharged for disability. October 24, 
1862; William Shields, discharged for disability, July 9, T862; Asa Smith, 
mustered out, July 20, T865; Richard W. Vaness, discharged for disability, 
October 24, 1862: Charles P. Wilcox, died of disease at Camp Denison. 
Ohio. October 10. 1863; John Zimmerman, discharged by order, June 1, 



Company D — Melvin C. Bacon, died of disease at Nashville, Tennes- 
see, September 27, 1862; Alexander M. Bennett, mustered out, September 
15, 1865; George Edwards, died of disease at Nashville, Tennessee, May 
21, 1865; George Olmstead, mustered out, September 15, 1865; George W. 
Smith, mustered out, September 15, 1865. 


Company C — Samuel W. Allen, mustered out, August 13, 1865. 

Company B— George H. Peters, discharged by order, May 30, 1865. 

Company F — John Barber, discharged by order, July 5, 1865; Fordice 
L. Blake, mustered out, August 13, 1865; Reuben Depue, died of disease at 
Evansville, Indiana, June 7, 1862; 'Emanuel Hesseng, discharged by order, 
June 29, 1868. 

Company G — Jacob Beard, discharged by order, May 30, 1865; James 
Eldridge, discharged by order. May 30, 1865; Benjamin I. Wilber, mus- 
tered out, July 28, 1865. 


Company B — Sylvester Barrett, died near Petersburg, Virginia, June 
18, 1864; Michael Chittock, died in action at Bull Run, Virginia, August 30, 
3862; Cyrus W. Dickerson, veteranized, December 22, 1863, mustered out, 
July 8, 1865; John W. Howarth, transferred to Veteran Reserve Corps, 
January 15, 1864; Thomas Patterson, veteranized, December 22, 1863, dis- 
charged for disability, January 19, 1865; George Simonson, veteranized, 
December 22, 1863, discharged by order, June 29, 1865; Wallace N. St. 
Clair, mustered out, July 8, 1865 ; William B. Ward, died of wounds at 
Washington, D. C, June 7, 1864; Roland S. Comstock, transferred to Vet- 
eran Reserve Corps, March 16, 1864; Benjamin Comstock, discharged by 
order, June 20, 1863. 

Company D — Albert S. Cowden, mustered out, July 8, 1865; John 
Winters, mustered out, July 8, 1865. 

Company E — John Brown, mustered out, July 8, 1865; Pulaski Frost, 
died of disease in Virginia, July 10, 1865. 

Company H — Charles Deland, mustered Out, July 8, 1865; Henry 


Decker, died of disease at Washington, D. C, September 30, 186 1 ; Nathan- 
iel B. Overton, died in action at Gaines' Mill, June 27, 1862. 

Company I — William Davis, discharged by order. May 30, 1865; Peter 
Kleis, mustered out, July 8. 1865. 


Field and Staff — First Lieut, and O. M. Martin P. Follett, Fairplain; 
commissioned, July 29, 1802; resigned, December 14, 1863. 

Company A — George W. Carter, mustered out, July 18, 1805; Thomas 
J. Hall, died of disease at Naval School Hospital, Annapolis, Maryland. 
February 21, 1863; William Hodges, discharged for disability, May 15, 
1864; William P. Lunn, mustered out, June 8, 1864; Jacob Limn, mustered 
out, June 8, 1865; John Little. Jr., mustered out, June 8, 1865; Serg. Car- 
los D. Loring, mustered out, June 8, 1865; Harvey Noyes, died of disease 
at Gallatin, Tennessee, February 15, 1863; Samuel J. Noyes, discharged 
for disability, February 15, T863; George B. Tyler, discharged for disabil- 
ity, March 19, 1863. 

Company C — Second Lieut. Newell J. Pratt, Greenville, commissioned, 
July 11, 1864; mustered out, June 8. 1865. Second Lieut. James A. Knight, 
Greenville, commissioned, August 14, 1862; resigned, February 13, 1863. 

Company //--Cyrus Abbott, died of disease at Savannah, Georgia, Feb- 
ruary 4, 1865; George \V. Conant, died of disease at Murfreesboro, Ten- 
nessee, April 7, 1863; Elijah Carr, discharged for disability, April 24, 1863; 
Reuben Crutsley, mustered out, June 24, .1865; Ira Decker, died of disease, 
Nashville, Tennessee, December 21, 1862; Henry M. Ferns, mustered out. 
June 8, 1865; Txiwis ^- Fuller, discharged for disability, May 4, 1864; 
Lucius E. Griffith, transferred to Veteran Reserve Corps; Asahel PI ale. dis- 
charged for disability. March 25. T863; William Joslin. died of disease near 
Clear Lake, Michigan, February 22, 1865 ; Pliletus Kuhn. discharged for 
disability, August 22. T863 : Theodore Lampman. mustered out. June 14, 
1865; Michael McCabe. mustered out. May 29, T865: John IT. Miller, dis- 
charged for disability, January 5. 1863; William Noah, mustered out, June 
8, 1863; Morie Osman. mustered out. June 8, T865; Theodore Reynolds, 
died of disease at Chattanooga. Tennessee. January t6, 1865; George W. 
Swigar, died of disease at Louisville. Kentucky, November 10, 1862; Eman- 
uel Sanderson, mustered out. June T5. T865; William H. Smith, mustered 
out. June T5. 1865; Ira Stewart, veteranized, January 16, 1864; Henrv 


Tripp, mustered out, June 8, 1865; Henry C. Worden, discharged for dis- 
ability, February 26, 1863. 

Company 1 ; — Capt. Elijah H. Crowell, Greenville; commissioned, July 
18, j 862; promoted to colonel, November 14, 1864; mustered out as cap- 
tain, June 8, 1865. First Lieut. Robert Mooney, Greenville; commissioned, 
July 30, 1862; resigned, December 1, 1862. First Lieut. Eben R. Ellen- 
wood, Winfield; commissioned. December 1, 1862; resigned/ January 31, 

1863. Second Lieut. Eben R. Ellenwood, Winfield ; commissioned, July 
30, 1862; promoted to first lieutenant, December 1, 1862. Second Lieut. 
John F. Loase, luireka; commissioned, December 1, 1863; mustered out, 
June 21, 1865. Serg. Enoch R. Wilcox, Eureka, discharged for disability, 
February 28. 1863. Serg. Leonard Rossman, Winfield; mustered out, June 
8, J 865. Serg. Thomas J. Potter, Eureka; mustered out, June 8, 1865. 
Serg. Newell J. Pratt, Greenville; promoted to commissary sergeant, May I, 

1864. Serg. William Kent, Fairplain; killed in action in North Carolina^ 
May 19, 1865. Corp. John N. Woodworth, Eureka; died at Nashville in 
1862. Corp. John F\ Loase, Eureka; promoted to second lieutenant. Corp. 
John II. French, Cato; died at Detroit, May 30, 1865. Corp. Byron W. 
Moore, Eureka; mustered out, July 8, 1865. Corp. Reuben W. Smead, 
Winfield; killed on Mississippi river. Musician Phineas Swift, Fairplain; 
discharged for disability, April 9, 1863. William J. Allen, mustered out, 
July t8, 1865; James R. Briggs, mustered out, May 22, 1865; Frederick 
Brant, mustered out, July 6, 1865 ; John G. Brimmer, mustered out, June 8. 
1865; John S. Butler, died of disease at Nashville, Tennessee, December 9. 
1863; Francis Borden, transferred to Veteran Reserve Corps, January 15. 
1 86-| . mustered out, July 5, 1865: Henry Barden, transferred to Veteran 
Reserve Corps, August 12, T864; George W. Cole, transferred to Veteran 
Reserve Corps, May 1, 1864; George S. Chandler, mustered out, Julv 18. 
1865; Reuben S. Cowden, mustered out, June 8, 1865; Jacob Davis, mus- 
tered out, June 8, 1865; Francis Darland, mustered out, June 8, T865 ; 
Johannas De Bree, discharged for disability, February 8. 1863 ; Lafayette 
Foskett, transferred to Veteran Reserve Corps ; George Flake, mustered out, 
July 18, 1865; Benjamin Fordyce. mustered out, June 27, T865; Enos FT. 
Goblc, discharged for disability, February 14, 1863 ; Richard H. Gibson, 
discharged for wounds, April 6, 1864; Jasper E. Giles, transferred to Vet- 
eran Reserve Corps, January 15, 1864: David Gristwood, mustered out, 
July 18, 1865; Hiram Gibson, mustered out, June 16, 1865; George Hall, 
mustered out, July 18, 1865; John Hunter, mustered out, July 18, 1865; 


John House, mustered out, June 5, 1865; Henry Herrick, died of disease 
at Nashville, Tennessee, November 14, 1862; Henry H. Hamilton, died in 
action at Chickamauga, Tennessee, September 20, 1863; John A. Harris, 
transferred to Veteran Reserve Corps, January 15, 1864; George O. Holin- 
der, discharged for disability, December 4, 1863; Christcnson Johnson, died 
in action at Stone's River, Tennessee, December 31, 1862; Dallas Jenks, 
mustered out, July 18, 1865; C. C. Johnson, mustered out, July 18, 1865; 
Daniel Judd, mustered out, June 8, 1865; Jesse Kenosen, died of disease at 
Andersonville, Georgia, October 1, 1864; George W. Keeler, discharged by 
order, May n, 1865; George Lamberton, died in action at Bentonville, North 
Carolina, March 19, 1865 ; William Lamberton, mustered out, July 18, 1865; 
William Lampman, mustered out, August 9, 1865; Oliver Miles, Jr., mus- 
tered out, July 14, 1865; Charles H. Meil, mustered out, June 8, 1865; Levi 
M. McOmber, died of disease at Louisville, Kentucky, December 6, 1862; 
George Mead, killed by explosion of steamer "Sultana," April 28. 1865; 
Martin McDonald, discharged for disability, January 22, 1863; Chauncey 
H. Peck, died of wounds at Chattanooga, Tennessee, September 29, 1863; 
Nathaniel Pratt, died of disease at Chattanooga, Tennessee, November 18, 
1864; James N. Powell, mustered out. July 18, 1865; Daniel B. Rust, dis- 
charged by order. April jo, 1863; Lewis Ruch, discharged for disability, 
January 1, 1863; Seth P>. Smith, discharged for disability, March 15, 1863; 
Ellsworth Smith, discharged for disability, February jo, 1863; Ritner Skin- 
ner, discharged for wounds, April 6. 1864; Rensselaer W. Skinner, died of 
disease at Gallatin. Tennessee. February 9, 1863; James R. Squires, mus- 
tered out. Tulv t8, T865 : Henry Strope, mustered out, July 18, 1865; 
Andrew Swift, mustered out, July 18. 1865; Daniel S. Severy, mustered 

out. Tune 8. 186;: Swarthout. mustered out. June 8, 1865; Fdward 

Straley, mustered out, June 8, 1865; William Swift, mustered out, June 5, 
.186^; Tohn R. Thompson, mustered out, June 8, 1865; Buel Towsley, dis- 
charged for disability, December 29, 1863; Charles M. Tuttle, discharged 
for disability, November ti, 1862; Garrett T. Van Allen, discharged; 
Anthony Van Stee, died of wounds at Goldsboro, North Carolina, March 
28, 1865; Jeptha Van Wormcr. mustered out, July 18, 1865; Theodore 
Wakeman, mustered out, July 18, 1865 ; John C. Wolverton, mustered out. 
June 8, 1865: Oscar Weed, mustered out, June 5, 1865; Fnoch Wilcox, 
discharged for disability, February 28, 1863. 

Company H — William R. Foote, discharged for disability, May t, 1863. 

Company /—John M. Bevard, mustered out, July 10, 1865; James Car- 


penter, transferred to Veteran Reserve Corps; Burton Koop,- died of wounds 
at Newbern, North Carolina, April 24, 1865. 

Company K — Samuel Andrews, discharged by order, July 23, 1863; 
Samuel Andrews, Jr., transferred to Veteran Reserve Corps, January 15, 
1864, mustered out, July 8, 1865 ; Corp. Julius T. Barrett, died in action at 
Stone's River, Tennessee. December 31, 1862; Hiram Barrett, discharged, 
May 18, 1863; L. M. Carpenter, mustered out, June 6, 1865; James Carpen- 
ter, mustered out, July 18, 1865; William H. Everest, discharged for dis- 
ability, May 11, 1865; George W. Gregory, died of disease at Murfrees- 
boro, Tennessee, December 20, 1863; Sanford Himes, died of disease at 
Lookout Mountain. Tennessee, June 27, 1864; Corydon L. Hunt, discharged 
for disabilitv. May xi, 1865; M. M. Proctor, transferred to Veteran Reserve 
Corps, April 30, 1864, mustered out. June 30, 1865; Simeon Proctor, mus- 
tered out, June 16, 1865: Ebenezer B. Shay, died of disease at Nashville, 
Tennessee. November 6. T862; Nathaniel Ward, died of disease at Nash- 
ville. Tennessee, November 20, i8f>2. 


Company A — William F. Hall, mustered out, July 26, 1865. 
Company E — Alfred R. Isham, mustered out. July 26, 1865. 
Company I 7 — Lamson N. Tsham. mustered out, July 26, T865. 


Company A. — Moses Burnett discharged by order, June 6, 1865; Brad- 
ford C. Davis, discharged by order, June 6, 1865; l ra D. Elsworth, dis- 
charged by order, June 6, 1865; Bonghton Goodsell, discharged for disabil- 
ity, May 11, 1865; Henry Kent, discharged by order, June 6, 1865; Albert 
W. Lobdell, discharged by order, June 21, 1865; Nelson J. Mcintosh, dis- 
charged by order, June 6. T865; Wesley H. Philips, died of disease at Dun- 
can's Bridge, South Carolina, February 16, 1865; Elisha Robertham. dis- 
charged by order, June 6, T865; Jacob M. Swarthout, discharged by order, 
June 6, 1865; Azariah Soule. discharged by order, July 21, 1865; Arnold 
W. Terry, mustered out, September 22, 1865; Cornelius Vanstee, discharged 
by order, June 1, 1865. 

Company B — Allen Barnes, discharged by order, June 6, 1865; Augus- 
tus Coffren, died of ■ disease at Savannah, Georgia, January 28, • 1865'; 'Sater- 
lec Solon, died of disease at Chattanooga, Tennessee, February 29, 1864; 


Newell Slawson, discharged at end of service, October 31, 1864; Henry S. 
Sanford, discharged by order, July 7. 1865; Isaac Underwood, discharged 
for disability, June 20, 1865. 

Company D — Charles Macomber, discharged at end of service, October 
31, 1864. 

Company E — Serg. Samuel M. Waters, Montcalm; discharged at end 
of service. October 31. T864. Martin V. Feagle, discharged at end of serv- 
ice, October 31, 1864; John Nichols, discharged for disability, July -'8. 1862; 
Frederick Roemyk. discharged at end of service, October 3T. 1864; Daniel 
F. Spencer, discharged at end of service, October 331, 1864; John V. Voor- 
hie, discharged at end of service, October 31, 1864; Samuel AT. Waters, 
discharged at end of service, October 31. 1864: Jason Westover, discharged 
at end of service, October 2T, 1864; Sylvester Wells, discharged at end of 
service, October 31, 1864. 

Company T 7 - -William Comstoek, mustered out, September 22. 1865; 
Elijah Comstoek, mustered out, September 22, 1865; James Hosmer, mus- 
tered out, September 22. 1865; Samuel E. Owen, discharged by order, May 
9, 1865; Lewis H. Ransome. died of disease at Savannah, Georgia, January 
n. 1865. 

Company G — Frederick Grovenberg, discharged by order, June T9, 

Company K- — Robert F. Williams, mustered out, September 22, 1865. 

Company L — Freeman Brown, discharged by order. May 23, T865 ; 
Leander Rosecrans. discharged by order, May t8, T865 ; Richard Smith, dis- 
charged by order, June 6, T865: Asa Sinclair, discharged by order, August 
4. 1865; Alvin S. Watson, discharged by order, June 6. 1865: Robert G. 
Young, discharged by order, June 6, T865. 

Company M — William Wiggins, died of disease at Bridgeport. Ala- 
bama. March to, T864. 


Company C — Alvin Smith, died in action at Chancellorsville, Virginia. 
May 2, 1863. 

Company I — Joshua Rogert, died of disease at Washington, D. C. ; 
Orrin Knapp, died of disease at Washington, D. C. A-Tarch 11. 1862; 
Lorenzo O. Smith, died of disease at Washington, D. C, ATarch 25, T862. 



Company F — Silas Berk, died of disease at New Market, Virginia ; 
William H. Costello, discharged by order, June 15, 1865. 

Company II — Wallace R. Page, mustered out, March 25, 1866. 

Company K — William H. Woodard, died of disease at Fort Leaven- 
worth, October 8. 1868. 


Company C — Ebeu R. Delano, died of disease at Nashville, Tennessee, 
July 14, 1864. 

Company /-''—-( 'harJes Barnum, discharged for disability, July 16, 1862; 
John C. Burgess, veteranized, January 5, 1863, mustered out, August 17, 
1865; George ("orbin, discharged for disability; Dwight F. Devendorff, dis- 
charged for disability; Emerson IT. Gallea, discharged for disability, Decem- 
ber 27, 1862: George Possman, discharged for disability, April 3, 1864; 
Henry B. Williams, discharged for disability, December 27, 1862. 

Company L — William S. Striker, mustered out, August 17, 1865. 


Company I) — Edwin A. Berry, discharged for disability; James H. 
Hamilton, discharged at end of service, October 24, 1864; David T. John- 
son, veteranized, January J 9, 1864, mustered out, February 12, 1866; Will- 
iam H. Staley, veteranized, January 19, 1864, mustered out, September 23, 
1865: Squire W. Wheeler, discharged for disability, October 13, 1862. 

Company I — Richard L. Merritt, died of disease at Lagrange, July 1, 


Company I) — William S. Smith, discharged for disability, August 1, 

Company E — Thomas Dickenson, died of disease at hospital in Mary- 
land, March 8, 1865; John J. Hammel, mustered out, November 24, 1865; 
William Phinsey, mustered out, May 15, 1865. 

Company G — Enoch J. King, mustered out, February 16, 1866. 

Company K — William H. Woodward, died of disease at Fort Leaven- 
worth, October 8, 1865. 



Field and Staff — Maj. Harvey E. Eight, Eureka; captain of Company 
M, July 25, 1863; commissioned major, January 1, 1865; mustered out, 
November 11, 1865. Asst. Serg, William D. Scott, Greenville; commis- 
sioned, July 7, 1863; mustered out, November 11, 1865. 

Company A — Jacob Orman, mustered out, November 11, 1865; John 
J. Riley, discharged for disability, December 26, 1864. 

Company B — First Eieut. Nelson Robinson, Eureka: commissioned, 
August 3, 1865; mustered out, November 11, 1865. John Arntz, discharged, 
December 1, 1863; Robert Carr, mustered out, November 11, 1865. 

Company C — Thomas E. Dunn, mustered out, November 11, 1865; 
Nathan Nichols, mustered out, November 11, 1865. 

Company L) — Ovid Harris. Jr., discharged by order, June 17, 1865; 
Ira E. Harvey, killed at Marlinsville, Virginia, April 8, 1865; William H. 
Printler, discharged by order. August 22, 1865 ; Thomas Snow, discharged 
by order, June 17, 186^; f. F. Thornell, discharged bv order. June 17, 

Company E — ('apt. Harvey E. Light, Eureka; commissioned, August 

10, 1863; promoted to major, January 1, 1865. Second Lieut. Nelson Rob- 
inson, Jr., Eureka; entered service. August 29, 1863 as sergeant Tenth Cav- 
alry; commissioned. January 6. 1865; promoted to first lieutenant Companv 
B, August 3, 1865; mustered out. November it, 1865. First Serg, Emery 
J. Blaiding, Winlield; enlisted, August 23, 1863, as sergeant Company E, 
Tenth Cavalry; promoted to second lieutenant Company F, September 2, 
1865; mustered out, November n. T865. Serg. William R. Fort, Winlield; 
enlisted, August 31. T863: mustered out, November tt. 1865. Serg. John- 
son B. Reed, Pierson ; enlisted, August 31, T863 ; mustered out. November 

11, 1865. Corp. Henry V. Darling, Evergreen; enlisted. August 18, 1863; 
mustered out, October 20, T865. Corp. Edwin A. Berry. Fairplain; enlisted. 
September 8, 1863; died o\ disease in Kentucky. February 16, T864. Far- 
rier Alfred V. Roosa. Eureka; enlisted, October 20, 1863; mustered out, 
November tt, 1865. W r agoner Levi Spaulding. Eureka; enlisted, August 
25, 1863; discharged for disability. April 26. 1864. Alfred Almy. dis- 
charged by order, September tt, 1865; Anson Buck, discharged by order, 
February 20, 1865; Lewis Bigbone, mustered out, November tt, T865; 
Charles Barnum. mustered out, November tt, 1865; Caleb Barnes, mus- 


tered out, November it, 1865; John II. Clark, mustered out, November 11, 
1865; Elijah Carr, mustered out. November 11, 1865; James E. Douglass, 
mustered out, May 18, 1865; James N. Furguson, mustered out, November 
11, 1865; Thomas Gorman, discharged by order, June 17, 1865; Orrin 
Hubbard, discharged by order, June 4, 1865; Benjamin Hewitt, mustered 
out, November 11, 1865; Churchill Kilburn, discharged by order, June 17, 
1865; Charles M. Moon, discharged by order, June 1:7, 1865; Eugune F. 
McMilan, died of disease at Camp Nelson, Kentucky, January 23, 1863,- 
Alexander Mck'elvey, died of disease at Knoxville, Tennessee, June 25, 
1864; Jerome Poulter, mustered out, November 23, 1865; George H. Rose, 
discharged by order, June 2<). T865; Braddock Show,' discharged by order, 
June 20. T865: William IT. Sager, died of disease at Knoxville, Tennessee, 
June .25, 1864; Geradus Smith, died of disease at Detroit, Michigan, Febru- 
ary 8, 1865; Demas Satterlee. mustered out. November ti, 1865; Urias 
Stout, mustered out. November ti, 1865; Stephen Skeels, mustered out, 
November tt, 1865; George B. Wheeler, mustered out, November 11, 1865. 

Company /'—-Second Lieut. Emory J. Rlaiding. Greenville; commis- 
sioned, September 2, T865; mustered out, November .it, T865 Samuel Spen- 
cer, mustered out, October 4, T865. 

Company G -Henry A. Allen, discharged for disability; Samuel R 
Carpenter, mustered out, November it. T865; Henry H. I r rench. mustered 
out. November it. 1865; James M. Oreutt. mustered out. May 27, 1865; 
Oliver Price, mustered out, September 1, T865 ; Jackson Rikcr, mustered' 
out. November tt, T865 ; Daniel E. Stokes, mustered out, November it. 
j 865; F>uel Towley, mustered out, November ti, T865. 

Company H — John Decker, died of disease at Grand Rapids, Michi- 
gan. December 12, 1863. 

Company TJ — Jonathan T. Gorton, died of disease at Camp Nelson. 
Kentucky, February it, 1864; Delos Pierce, died of disease at Grand Rap- 
ids. Michigan. November 23. 1863. 

Company M — William Jones, mustered out, November it, 1865; Ste- 
phen Sharpe. discharged, April T4, T865 ; Daniel Shook, discharged by order. 
August 30, 1865. 


Company E — Homer C. Munson. dropped from rolls while prisoner of 



Company A — Charles Best, mustered out, July 19. 1865. 
Company C — Jerome Hilliker, mustered out, July 19, 1865. 
Company E — James Walker, mustered out, July 19, 1865. 


Company V — Thomas .Bennett, discharged by order, October 13, 1865; 
Solomon Sherwood, discharged by order. October 13, 1865. 

Company E — Merritt Hallcck, discharged by order, October 13, 1865. 

Company F — John B. Wetherly, discharged at end of service, Septem- 
ber 9, 1805. 


Company 1) — Kirk Wewallen, discharged by order, June 1, 1865. 

Company /•' — Oscar 1\ Benett, died in action at Chickamauga, Tennes- 
see, September 19, 1863; Andrew Little, veteranized, January 18, 1864, mus- 
tered out, Jul)- 25, 1865; Augustus Wiser, veteranized. January 18, 1864, 
discharged by order, August 1, T865. 

Company G — Lora ( '. jenks. veteranized, January t8, 1865. mustered 
out, February 25, T865. 


Company A — Francis Strong, mustered out, July 18, 1865; Abraham 
Van Horn, mustered out, July 18, 1865. 

Company B — Abiah Johns, discharged by order, June 1, 1865; Nathan 
B. Scott, mustered out, July 18, 1865. 

Company C — David Borgen, mustered out, July 18, 1865. 

Company D — Henry Bump, died of disease at Fort Schuyler, New 
York, January n, 1865. 

Company E — Albert Washburn, mustered out, June 15, 1865. 

Company F — John Fields, mustered out, July 18, 1865 ; Horatio Kibby, 
discharged for disability, July 1, 1862; Lewis J. Moore, mustered out, July 
18, 1865; Daniel Youngs, died of disease at Willet's Island, (New York 
Harbor), May 23, 1865. 

Company H — James P. Neve, mustered out, July 18, 1865. 


Company I — Robert Jenks mustered out, July 18, 1865; Luther Jenks, 
mustered out, July t8, 1865. 


Company D— Emanuel Hissing, discharged for disability, August 8, 


Company II — James Rhineholt, died of disease at Andersonville, Geor- 
gia, September 8, 1864. 


Company if— Jeremiah Read, died of disease, September 29, 1865; 
Elijah Read, died of disease at Orangeburg, South Carolina, June 27, 1865. 


Company A — Alexander C. Leman, died of disease at Nashville, Ten- 
nessee, November zj, 1863. 


Company A — Edwin A. Wheaton, mustered out, June 22, 1865. 


Company D — Stephen Aldrich, mustered out, July 10, 1865 ; David 
Turner, died of disease at Frederick, Maryland, December 22, 1864. 
Company E — Francis F. Hawkins, mustered out, July 22, 1865. 



The educational chapter of any community begins approximately at the 
same time as that of the settlement of the community. This is true in prac- 
tically every instance in the settlement of a new county. Our pioneers, 
although not having the facilities with which to acquire education, were very- 
eager that their offspring should not he handicapped in this way. With the 
beginning of each settlement as soon as there were as many as from seven 
to twelve or fifteen children, a small school house was either erected or 
school was kept in private families. The early school history of Montcalm 
county demands more than a meager description of the early log school 
house and the surroundings which at that time were part of the educational 
systems. Realizing the part which the one-room log school house played 
in laving the foundation for our present school system, it seems no more 
than right that consideration should be given to the first school or schools 
in each township. The following will give the history of the first schools 
in each of the twenty townships of Montcalm county: 


The first school held in I'elvidere township was taught in the summer 
of 1868. In the spring of this same year the first school district, which 
comprised one-fourth of the township directly south of the center, was set 
off, a meeting called and the necessary officers elected. The rough boards 
of which the school house was made were bought with money raised among 
the inhabitants by subscription. When the material had 1>een collected and 
the shakes for the roof prepared, the inhabitants assembled and the work 
of construction was of short duration. This house stood near the south 
quarter post on section 22. This district and that included by Six Lakes 
were the only whole school districts formed in this township at an early date, 
considerable territory being attached in fractional school districts to other 



As to where the first school in Bloomer was held or by whom it was 
taught, there is much diversity of opinion and contradictory statements. It 
seems that in the fall or winter of 1852-53 Alvira K. Miner opened a school 
in the little log cabin built by her father upon his settlement in the township, 
he in the meantime having erected a more commodious one for the family. 
The names of the pupils in this school were Emma G. Ilarley, Martha Wil- 
sey, Bertram Wilsey, Olive Miner and Onella Hawley. 

The next summer the settlers who lived in the eastern part of the town- 
ship held a school meeting and concluded to built a school house. They 
accordingly put up a log building, which was nearly square (about twelve 
feet). It had two half-windows, or single sash of six lights each. The 
benches were split from basswood logs, and set up on pins. It had a fire- 
place, such as was common in those days, made of stones and mud, and a 
stick chimney on the outside. Alvira Miner was secured to teach this school 
.also, and it is said by some that she received one dollar per week for her 
services, but others seem to doubt the ability of the early settlers to raise so 
munificent a sum. The next term was also taught by her. She was much 
esteemed as a teacher. 

The same summer when Miss Miner taught her first school in this 
cabin the spirit, of enterprise seized the settlers in the vicinity of Miner's 
Corners. A school meeting was called, Anderson Miner was elected direc- 
tor, while David Siebrig and Mark Wilsey were called upon to fill the respon- 
sible positions of moderator and assessor. It was then resolved to build a 
school house. Accordingly, a body of logs was raised, making a room six- 
teen by twenty feet. It was finished much after the description of that in 
the east part of the township. Which was built first it is impossible to say 
definitely, but it was probably the one at the center. The first teacher was 
Ruth Dodge, from Ionia county. 


At a meeting of the school board, held on April 10, 1850, district No. 
1 was formed by Chauncey W. Olmstead and William Husker, members of 
the board. This district comprised sections 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29, 32, 33 
and 34. A school house was soon after built on the farm of Joseph Stevens, 
just south of the south branch of Prairie creek. This school house served 


the purpose of town house, meeting house, etc., for the whole township for 
a number of years. The first election held in this building was for the pur- 
pose of electing county and state officers on the ioth of November, 1850. 
jane Ransom, whose people had settled in Ronald, Tonia county, taught the 
first school in Bushnell. 

Pursuant to an application of persons interested, on November 12, 

1852, the school board again met and set off district No. 2, which included 
sections 13, 15, 23, 24, 25, 26, 35 and 36. It will be seen that this district 
included all the settlements in the township east of Prairie creek. A school 
house was immediately built of logs on the northwest corner of the north- 
east quarter of section 25, and for a number of years served as a meeting 
house for all denominations, and filled a want, on this side of the stream, 
similar to the school house on the other side. 

District No. 3 was formed by the board on the 17th of November, 

1853. at which time it comprised sections 5, 6, 7, 8, 17. t8 and the western 
half of sections 4, o and 16. On the 8th of December, following, the board 
set off district No. 4, which included the southwestern part of the town- 
ship. Tts boundaries were soon more or less changed, as were those of the 
other districts. 

The record of examination bears date of November 8, T854, at which 
time Joseph \Y. Met calf and Julia Coates applied and were given certifi- 
cates. A report, entered on February 10, 1855, shows that schools had been 
taught in districts 1, 2 and 3. ft also indicates the apportionment of the 
mill tax in the several districts to have l>een as follows: District No. 1 
received $18.00: No. 2. $8.53; No. 3. $it.6o. The number of children 
attending in district No. 1 was 60; in No. 2, 20; No. 3, 37. 


In the year 1857, after the organization of Cato, that part which con- 
stitutes the present township was divided into two school districts, which 
probably comprised the greater portion of its inhabitants, although the 
boundaries of these districts cannot now be definitely stated. They were, 
however, numl>ered t and 2, according to the time when they were organ- 
ized, but it is believed that school was first opened in district No. 2. 

The inhabitants in district No. 1, which at that time comprised the north- 
west portion of the town, made a bee, and with their united effort a school 
house of logs, twenty-two by twenty-four feet, was soon erected on the 
north part of the land owned by James Edgar. Mary Hull, the daughter of 


Hiram Hull, who settled in the township the year previous, taught the first 
school here. She also taught several other terms, and subsequently died of 

In district No. 2 the school house, which the people also built, was of a 
more primitive pattern. It was made of logs, but the roof was covered with 
hark, and the floor across the road from the site now occupied by the school 
house in this district. The first term was taught by Pearly Galleo, who had 
come to the township a short time previous. She taught three months, and 
in default of money sufficient to pay her pittance for these services, she 
received a calico dress bought for her by the director of the district at 
Greenville. She returned to her former home in Ohio. 

The following are the names of the scholars who composed this school: 
Clara Galleo, Elizabeth Taylor, Phebe Butler, Samuel J. Youngman, Ells- 
worth Galleo, Uriah E. Struker. 

School district No. 3 was set off by the school board on the 7th of 
March. 1858. Tt at this time included the southeast quarter of the township 
but no action was taken by the inhabitants to organize, and no school was 
opened here until some years after. These school districts have all been 
rearranged from time to time. 


In the fall of 1856 a school meeting was called at the house of Ephraim 
Hatfield, and after some preliminaries he was chosen director. There is no 
record of this meeting, and the persons elected to fill the other offices of the 
district are not now known. A vote to build a school house prevailed, and 
it was decided to build it on the northwest corner of the southeast quarter 
of section 34. This land at this time was owned by James Reck, from whom 
it was leased. The people were not taxed, but mem1>ers assembled and built 
:i house of logs about twenty feet square, with two windows, a fireplace, and 
a door in the side. 

In the fall the first term of school was commenced by Maria Lindsay. 
She taught three months, and received two dollars and a half per week and 
boarded around in the district. The school was not large, numbering about 
twelve at most. Miss Lindsay subsequently taught one term in Gratiot 
< onnty, and was married to Henry Gee. They settled in the village of 
( "rvstal, where she died and where Mr. Gee resided for a long time. The 
following summer Anna "Richardson, whose parents were early settlers of 
Hloomer, taught one term in this house. 


The first school in the northern part of the township was taught by 
Pveline Roop, whose parents were residents of Bloomer township. A log 
cabin had been nearly completed by a man who had pre-empted the south- 
west quarter of the northwest quarter of section i. It stood on the rise near 
the line of the section, just north of the little stream that crosses the road 
near by. Another term was taught in this cabin by Maria Ward. Previous 
to this time John \V. Smith and the inhabitants of this neighborhood met 
and laid up the body of a log house near the road on the north part of sec- 
tion j(). but as the county school here was abandoned and the children of 
this district who were large enough attended school in the Burke district. 
A school was opened here, however, in about two years. 


In the spring of 1806 the school board formed the northwest quarter of 
the township into a school district. The first school meeting was held at 
the house of 11. K. W. Palmer, he being chosen director, and Samuel Butts, 
moderator; Marcellus Palmer, assessor. The first school was taught by Mrs. 
II. K. \V. Palmer in an unoccupied room of her dwelling. Arrangements 
were made to build a log school house, lout the motion was reconsidered by 
a vote of the district, and it was decided to erect a frame one, which was 
accordingly done. The second term, however, was taught by Lodema Pal- 
mer in the log house of Samuel Butts, before the school house was com-, 
pleted. She became the wife of P. M. Mallett. The second school was 
taught in the northeastern part of the township; but, as the inhabitants 
mostly soon after moved away, the district formation was dropped. The 
fractional school district at Stanton was next perfected. 


On the 17th of September, 1863, the first school meeting of Douglass 
convened at the school house, which was at this time in process of building, 
on section 9. This township, it will be remembered, yet formed a part of 
Pine, and the school house had been built through the direction of the school 
board of that township. At the meeting referred to two new settlers who 
had just reached the town that day were present, S. L. Smith and Aaron 
Hunt. The latter was elected director, the former assessor, and Benajah 
Persens, moderator. S. L. Smith was subsequently elected director, and 
served nine years. 


No arrangements for a school were made until the next spring, when 
Mr. Hunt canvassed the township and found it practicable, the settlers sub- 
scribing one dollar per scholar for the purpose of employing a teacher. As 
there were but seven pupils in the district the sum was not large. Eliza- 
beth Aklrich was engaged to teach, for which the district agreed to pay one 
dollar and fifty cents per week, board not included. The pupils' names 
were Margaret Aldrich. Phoebe Smith, Byron Smith. Albert Hunt. Cor- 
nelius Mart, Ida Whitmore and Agnes Whitmore. Miss Aldrich. at the time 
she taught this school, was sixteen years of age. She taught, three months, 
the parents in the district making up by subscription the necessary fund. 
She was also employed to teach the next school here, wages being increased 
to two dollars and fifty cents per week. She subsequently became the wife 
of C V. Kilborn. The next school was opened in district No. 2, a log school 
house being built there in 1868. It stood on the northwest quarter of sec- 
tion 13. and was later used as a dwelling house. The first term was taught 
by Vina Cory. This building was used until 1876, when a new one was 
erected. The school building in district No. t was built in T878. 


On September 1.4, 1850, the township of Eureka organized districts 4 
find 5. No. 4 was ordained to contain the south half of section 27, the south 
half of 28. the south half of 2Q, the south half of 30, the whole of sec- 
tions 3T, 7,2, 33 and 34, and the west half of 35. No. 5 contained sections 
2T and 22, the norlh hakes of 27, 28. 29 and 30, and the south halves of 
19 and 20. 

kvkiv;rekx sci fools. 

On the 23d of October, 1836. Ira Ryder, in compliance with a resolu- 
tion passed at the first school meeting in Evergreen, addressed a letter to 
William LMiinesey, commanding him to notify the qualified electors inter- 
ested that the board had formed a school district to be known as school dis- 
trict No. 1, and to include sections 19, 20, 21, 28, 29, 30, 31. 32 and 33. 
The first meeting of the district was appointed to be held at the house of 
Robert Bennett, on the 9th of November, T856. There were then five voters 
in the district, as appears from the return letter, which asserts that the fol- 
lowing named parties were personally notified of said meeting: Ira Ryder, 
William Morgan, Charles Richardson, Robert Bennett and William Phin- 


esey. At the meeting held in accordance with this notice, it was unani- 
mously resolved to have a three-months' school by a female teacher. Another 
meeting- was held on the 22d of November, and the site selected upon which 
stands the school house. In accordance with a vote of the district, a neat 
framed school house, which cost one hundred and seventy-Five dollars, was 
erected by Charles IT. Randall. Upon its completion, Maria White was 
employed as teacher, her school numbering six scholars, representing three 
families. Their names were Louisa .Morgan, Tlarriffa Morgan, Theodore 
Phinesey. John l'hinesey. flattie Hennett and David Bennett. She received 
one dollar and fifty cents per week, which for her services amounted to six 
dollars from each family. 

Miss White subsequently became the wife of Nathan Heath, and lived 
in I\oland. 'The next school in this district was taught by Mary Callaghan, 
who taught a number of terms in succession. She became the wife of James 
Donavan, and lived in Bloomer. 

School district No. 2 was formed some years Inter, and included the 
territory in the vicinity of Mud lake. The inhabitants at once erected a log- 
school house, and the district lias continued with slight changes to the pres- 
ent time. The southeastern part of the township was formed into a frac- 
tional school district with the adjoining towns in an early day. 


hi the summer of 1K47 die citizens of the northwest part, of the town- 
ship decided to organize a school, and in accordance with this resolution 
they met and built a small cabin of boards, on the southwest quartet* of 
section 5. opposite the place now occupied by a school house on section 7. 
and .Mice Wilcox, whose people lived in Eureka, was secured as a teacher. 
She afterwards became the wife of Myron Hurley. As has been said, the 
building was a little frame structure, and stood on the corner of the south- 
west quarter of section 5, where it was used a number of terms. But con- 
tinued additions to the school soon rendered a larger room necessary, and a 
neat frame building was erected on the same site, the old one being torn 

This was not, however, considered a favorable site for a school house, 
and the ground now occupied was selected and the school house moved from 
its old location to the new, where it was subsequently burned, after which 
the one now standing was built. A little later, in the same summer, a board 


shanty was erected near the site now occupied by the school house on sec- 
tion 2, and Caroline Wilcox taught in this building. 

Early in the spring- of 1848 John and Gibson Eargo. brothers, built the 
first substantial school house in the township. The lumber for it came from 
Greenville. Caroline Wilcox also taught the first school in this building. It 
was important in the early affairs of the township as being the place of 
holding all the elections and political meetings of note, as well as being a 
place of worship for the various religious denominations, who were endeav- 
oring to establish their respective societies in the township. It was known 
for many vears, from a liberal coat of red paint which it received, as the 
"Rod School House.'" It stood on land owned by Joseph Russell, on the 
west line of section 20. about eighty rods north of the quarter post, and 
was destroyed by fire in January, i86r. Jacob King was the first male 
teacher in the township, lie taught in this building during the winter of 
1848-49. James Snow, who taught, the first school in the winter of 
(849-50, later moved to Grand Rapids. Sarah Jane Rasmussen was among 
the early teachers, and her sister, Mary, who also taught, married and 
removed to New York. 

It will be seen, therefore, that previous to the organization of town 
north, range 7 west, there had been several terms of school taught and sev- 
eral districts formed while it was yet a part of the township of Montcalm, 
which at that time really included the whole county. But when the board 
met at the house of Roswell Dudley, on the 29th of April, 1850, they made 
some slight changes in the boundaries of these districts and numbered them 
"according to the time in which they were formed." Thus district No. 1 
included sections 5. 7, 8. and district No. 2 included sections 17. 18. 19, 20, 
29. 30. These districts were first set off by the county school board in 
1847, an< l tne fi fSt schools were taught as before stated. At this first meet- 
ing of the school board of Eairplain a petition, signed by Freeman A. 
Decker, Oliver Decker. Edward Decker, Jesse Decker, Joseph Decker, Ebe- 
nezer Salver and Luther R. Jenks, was presented, and in compliance with it 
the board formed district No. 3. the limits of which, as with the others, 
have been since considerably changed, although the body of the district 
occupies about the. same, relative position. 

During the first year (1850) of the organization of the township the 
primary school fund for all the schools amounted to eighteen dollars and 
thirty-six cents, and was divided among the several' districts as follows : 
District No. t received $9.18; district No. 2 received $5.78: district No. '3 


received $3.40. On May 5, 1851, the school board met at what was then 
known as the "Red School House." in district No. 2, and examined teachers. 
Catherine Satterlee received a certificate, and on November 8 James Snow 
also received one. District No. 5 was formed on April to, 1852. at which 
time it comprised sections 24, 25. 26. 34, 35 and 36. Notice was forwarded 
to William Clark, instructing him to call the first district meeting at his 
house, April 17, 1852. Among the early teachers also were Misses P. A. 
Root. Rosetta Jenks and Rachel King. 


The iirst school in Ferris was taught at the center of the township in a 
log school house which stood on the southwest quarter of section 15. This 
house had three windows and a Dutch fireplace in one end. The seats were 
made without backs, of planks, into which legs were driven. Sticks driven 
into the walls, on which boards were laid, served as desks. The first school 
was taught bv Esther Ann Hare, in the summer of 1857. ^ nt> received one 
dollar per week and boarded herself. There were but three families in the 
district. Miss Hare taught but one term here. The next school house was 
built in district No. 1. It was a neat frame buildings, which cost about four 
hundred and seventy-five dollars. The lumber of which it was built came 
from 1 f ubbardston and Alma. Margaret Luscombe was the first teacher in 
this building. She afterwards married and lived in Estella. 

On the second Saturday in April. 1857, the board of school inspectors 
met to examine candidates wishing to teach. But. as no candidates appeared, 
the board proceeded to lay out the township in school districts, commencing 
with the northeast part of the township. The boundaries then laid out bear 
but little resemblance to those of today, and have been so frequentlv changed 
and were of such duration that they were scarcely recognized. On the Qth 
of October, following (1857), a second meeting was held, at which time 
a report, to the township treasurer shows that there were then twenty-two 
pupils in district No. 5, which corresponded with district No. 1 of the 
present day, which is the central district of the township. The money voted 
for school purposes was twenty-two dollars, with six dollars for incidental 
expenses. The only books mentioned were "Webster's Dictionaries." On 
the 7th of November the first candidate appeared before the school board in 
the person of Maribee Macomber, to whom a certificate was granted. At the 
meeting of the board in 1858 the town clerk was ordered to inform Perrv 
T. Bailey that school district No. 3 had been formed, and that the first meet- 


ing" would be held at his house on the 27th of November, 1858. The returns 
show that Mr. Bailey notified the following persons, according to law: 
James Tislue, Henry Grim, Hezekiah Davis, Myron Austin, Ashel Buck, 
Richard Bailey, Levi Camburn and William Davis. At the meeting of the 
board Fsther Hare received a certificate to teach. The first meeting in school 
district X'n. i, in the northeastern part of the township, was at the house of 
Mica jab Douglas, January 1, 1858. The letter calling this meeting was 
directed to L } eter Schlappie, and the returns show there were then in the 
district A. Conner. ]\I. Douglas, F. Sherman, S. Burtch, Lawson Sherman, 
Henrv Ferris, Gilbert Ferris and John Rank. These were the first schools 
in the township. 


Xo school was taught in Home until the spring of 1865, when the 
people in the south part of the township met and organized a school district, 
and built a small log house on the southeast part of section 28, and employed 
Orlando Evans as teacher. He was a nephew of Josiah Fair, with whom 
he resided at the time. Later he resided in Stanton. The next summer a 
site for another school house was selected one and one-half miles east of the 
first. A house was erected, in which a school was opened by Mrs. James 
Brown, whose husband taught at the same time in the cabin before referred 
to. The first frame school house was built on the east line of section 30. in 
district No. 3. 


The first school district was set off by the school board of Pierson in the 
fall of r86o. Ft comprised the northwest quarter of the township. The 
first school meeting was held at the house of F. J. Blanding, on section 7. 
He was elected director, Clayton Wood, moderator, and James Ferguson, 
assessor. Xo school was taught during the winter. Tn the following spring 
a log cabin, eighteen by twenty-four feet, was built on the southeast comer 
of the northwest quarter of section 7, on land owned by Howland Soules. 
Elizabeth Parker, who became the wife of Peter Taylor, taught the first- 
school, which lasted three months. She had seven pupils from the families 
of James and Jacob Ferguson. Charles Parker and Clayton Wood. She 
received three dollars per week, and boarded around with the patrons of the 
school. A grand Fourth of July celebration was gotten up during this sum- 
mer, at which Charles Parker and K. J. Blanding orated, while their families 
were the interested audience. This was the only district formed previous to 


the organization of Maple Valley. The next district formed comprised the 
central portions of the township. 

The school in the village of Coral was first taught in a little frame 
building which stood on the south side of the railroad. Rut the rapid growth 
of the village rendered this impossible to accommodate the pupils. Accord- 
ingly, the question of building a new house was agitated, and culminated in 
calling a meeting, at which a building committee of five citizens was appointed 
and three thousand dollars was voted to build a house, which was completed 
in .1873. and cost between three and four thousand dollars. 


April 15, 18.48, the school inspectors of Montcalm township formed in 
that town certain school districts, of which districts 1. 2, 3 and 6 were 
embraced in town 9 north, range 8 west, as follows : No. t contained sec- 
tions 4. 9, 15 and 16, and all of section to, except the northeast quarter; 
No. 2 contained sections 1. 2. 3 and 11, and the northeast quarter of section 
10; No. 3 included sections 12, 13. t.|., 23 and 24; No. 6 comprised sections 
5, 6, 7. 8. T7, t8. the north half of 19, and the north half of 20. 


The first, school in I'ine was taught by Jennie Lang, in an unoccupied 
room of David Hart's house, in the summer of T858. Miss Lang received 
one dollar and fifty cents per week. The term lasted three months. This 
was the first school house in the township. It stood just east of the site 
later occupied by the residence of Zenas Rriggs. Mattie Brown taught the 
first school here, in the fall of T863. 

RKYNOJ.DS schools. 

In June, i86<), the school board elected at the first town meeting met 
and divided the township into six school districts. District No. t contained 
sections 4. 5. 6, 7. 8, 9. and the north half of sections 17 and J 8. No. 2 
contained section 16, the south half of 17 and 18, sections tq. 20, 21. and 
the north half of jH. 29 and 30. No. 3 contained the south half of sections 
28. 29, 30, the east half of sections 32 and all of section 33. No. 4 con- 
tained sections 2$, 26, zj, 34. 35 and 36. No. 5 contained sections T3, 14, 
15, 22, 23 and 24. No. 6 contained sections 1, 2, 3. to, ii and 12. 



After the organization of the township the board met and divided it 
into school districts. There were at the time, however, scarcely pupils 
enough for one district, and but one therefore organized. This was at the 
center of the township. The few families in the south part attended school 
in Ferris, sometimes walking several miles for that purpose. The people of 
district No. 1 met at the house of Joshua fainter in the spring of 1869 and 
elected the necessary officers and resolved to have three months school. 
Joshua fainter, being appointed director, employed John Henry as teacher, 
who fulfilled his engagement and taught in a little unoccupied log house 
which had been built on the farm of Rufus Saunders. In the fall the log 
house on the east side of the road and on the northeast corner of section 21. 
was erected. This was the first school house in the township, and the first 
school in it was taught by Anna Woodard. 

stdnky sc (tools. 

The first school of Sidney was taught in 1858, in a log school house 
which stood on the north line of the southeast quarter of section 20, on 
land later owned by Jera B. Grover. It was taught by Martha Newberry, 
whose parents live in Montcalm. The school consisted of but seven pupils, 
who represented three families. Their names are as follow: Orange Noah, 
Ruth Noah, Abbie Noah, Richard Vaness, Nelson Vaness, Nancy Vaness 
and Helen Vaness. Miss Newberry received one dollar and a quarter per 
week. She subsequently married Lute Griffith, and lived in Montcalm town- 
ship. The next school was built at Sidney Center, and the first term in it 
was taught by Nancy Lyons in .1862. She afterwards married William 
Kelly and -removed to Clam lake. 


District No. i. of Winfteld, was formed in the fall of i860, and the 
contract to build a school house was taken by Henry Macomber, who at once 
prepared logs for that purpose. The building, however, was not completed 
until the fall of the following year. This house was made of well-hewn 
logs, from which it received the name of "Blackhouse,"a term applied to it 
until it was superseded by a frame building some years later. It was well 
furnished with board desks and seats, and soon l>ecame the place of holding 


political and religious meetings of all parties and seels, and really answered 
as town house, church and school house for the whole township. 

Miss Swarthout, who subsequently became the wife of Henry (.'lark, 
and was later a resident of Mecosta county, is believed to have taught the 
first school. Tn the year 1862 there were but two regularly formed school 
districts in the township. District Xo. t contained the greater part of the 
northeastern quarter, and district No. 2 the northwestern quarter. The 
south half had been divided by the school board, but the inhabitants, being 
few and scattering, had taken no steps towards permanent organization. 


After the county had been entirely settled and school districts had been 
laid out, the school system began to take on more permanent form. This 
began first in the township supervision ; later this work came under a county 
head. The first office created in the county to be the head of the educational 
systems in the county was the county superintendent of schools. The county 
superintendent of schools was selected by the board of examiners and this 
came out of the inspectors from each township. At this early date the board 
of examiners consisted of a secretary and two others appointed by the board 
of supervisors for their term of two years. In the beginning of the school 
systems there was no county system for township inspection, the superin- 
tendent having the power to license the teachers and carry on the general 
supervision of his township. 

The office of count)' commissioner of schools, which is the present head 
of the school system in the county, began in 1889. The first to serve under 
this system was J. E. McCloskev, who held the office for a period of tour 
years. Mr. McCloskev is now superintendent of the Howard City schools. 
a position which he has held for twelve years. A. N. Demorey succeeded 
Mr. McCloskev. and also held the office for a period of four years. The 
present incumbent. Kugene IX Straight, has held this office for eighteen 
years, which alone speaks for the worth of this man and the. judgment he 
has exercised in his official capacity. Air. Straight has taken the school 
system at the point left off by his predecessors, and through the earnest 
endeavors and the support of the education-loving people of the county, 
raised the schools to fhe present pinnacle which they hold. There are still 
two examiners, who serve for a period of two years, and are. appointed by 
the supervisors. The commissioner of schools, however, is an elective office 
of four years and carries with it a salary of one thousand five hundred dol- 


Iars per year. There are one. hundred and forty-two school districts in 
Montcalm count}-, and there are two hundred twenty licensed teachers. Three 
grades of teachers' certificates are issued in the county, namely: The first 
grade, that of four years: second grade, of three years; and third grade, of 
one year. The scope of territory which the class of school districts of the 
count} - cover extends from the one-room building, teaching all of the com- 
mon branches, to the banner high schools of the countv. with all their mod- 
ern departments. 

In listing the schools, beginning with the high schools and extending 
on down to those in the districts with only the eight grades, the first men- 
tioned is Greenville. Then following, in order, comes Howard City, (.'arson 
City, Stanton, Lakeview and fdniore, all on the accredited university list. 
Sheridan and Coral also have schools of twelve grades Trufant alone has 
a school of eleven grades. Mcfride, Vestaburg. Six Lakes, Vickeryville or 
Xo. 5. Rushnell, Crystal. Langston or Xo. t, and fine, all support schools 
of ten grades. In addition to the above named, there are the following two- 
room common schools for ten grades located in the following districts: 
Ferris X0.3, Crystal Xo. 7. Cvergreen Xo. 2 and Xo. 8. Dogulass Xo. 1, 
Tine Xo. 3, I'ierson Xo. _\ and Sidney Xo. r. 

In a certain sense no district school can be held up above the others as 
surpassing in any way. but one school in the count}- deserves mention from 
not only the system which is of \-j standing; but the beautiful buildings 
which the patrons of this district have made possible the erection. This is a 
two-room, ten-grade building in fern's township, district No. 3. This build- 
ing was erected of conglomerate stone, and is built in such way as to give 
it the most artistic effect possible. 


The first school in Stanton was taught by Nancy Green in the court 
room of the old wooden court house. There were five pupils and she 
received ten shillings a week for her services. The. next winter Mrs. Levi 
Cambium taught a school in her home. There were then seven scholars. 
This was the first school taught by a regularly inspected teacher, and it 
secured the organization of the district and the school fund. These first 
two schools were paid for by private subscription. The school district, which 
includes Stanton Xo. 3 fractional, includes a part of the four adjacent town- 
ships of Sidnev, Cvergreen, Day and Douglass, and was organized by the 
school boards of the respective, townships on May 9, 1863. At the first 


meeting Abrain Roosa was chosen moderator, Levi Camburn, director, and 
D. O. Cornell, assessor. On September 8 the board voted to raise one dollar 
per scholar and live dollars for. immediate expenses. The school house site 
was established and two hundred dollars voted for building purposes. The 
board was appointed as a building committee and the house was erected and 
accepted in i860. K. K. Wood was the first male teacher in the district. Jt 
was organized as a graded school in 1866. The first board of trustees under 
the graded system were Oscar Fenn. Asa Morse, J. P. Beers, Marmon 
Smith. Aaron Lyon and E. 1\. Wood. 

When the school house was finished it consisted of two rooms and a 
small wing on each side used for halls and stairways. It was started in 
June and finished in December, so the pupils started to school on Christmas 
Day. There were then seventy-five pupils, and K. K. Wood was the pro- 
fessor. Cp to this time the school had not been graded and at last the 
attendance became so great that the house east of the Methodist Episcopal 
church was rented for the primary department. Then, after a vear or two, 
additions were made to the school house Later it became so crowded that 
the halls on the south Avere used for recitation rooms. At this time there 
were four teachers employed. Mr. and Mrs. \\ (.'). Criswold. Libbv Tlolm- 
deu and Miss Nicholas. Between (he years 1871 and 1880 another addition 
was built on the east side of the building. This was then called the central 
building. The high school, grammar and primary departments were in this 
building. The kindergarten and first and second grades were taught in the 
first ward building on Mill street. The fifth, sixth and seventh grades were 
then included in the grammar department. During the vears 1882-83 Jose- 
phine Drury was the superintendent and Miss I lolleck was the principal. 
There were three graduates in the year 1882 and one in 1883. Mr. Ransom 
was superintendent in the year 1884. There were three graduates at this 

In the year 1888 the superintendent was Mr. Benedict. Mrs. Cook was 
principal. There were seven graduates that year. During Mr. Benedict's 
term he became ill and resigned, and Mrs. Comstock was appointed to fill 
the vacancy. Tor two years she retained this position. In 1889 there were 
four graduates. Mrs. Lizzie Youngs was principal during the year t8qo 
and Flora Rood during the years i8c)t and 180,2. In 1890 there were three 
graduates, in 1891. seven, and in t8m2 there were eleven. Maud Tucker 
Doolittle. who graduated in the year t88<). later graduated from the Ober- 
lain Conservatory of Music and later studied in Berlin. She is now a noted 
pianist in New York. Leslie Vaughn, who graduated in 1886, is a noted 


violinist and has toured Europe twice and American three times. He has 
played for the Prince of Wales and also in the Queen's orchestra. 

Mr. McCloskey was appointed superintendent in the year 1893 and held 
this position for the following ten years. The numher of graduates during 
the time Mr. McCloskev was superintendent and Mary B. Carpenter was 
principal are as follow: Two in T893, eight in 1894, six in 1895, f' ve m 
1896. nine in 1897. ten m T 898, eleven in 1899. sixteen in 1900, eight in 
1901. and nine in T902. 

Mr. Hendry was chosen superintendent in 1903 and Miss Hinds was 
principal from 1903 to 1904. Then Miss Carpenter was again principal for 
a few years. The number of graduates each year that Mr. Hendry was 
superintendent is as follow: Two in T903. eight in 1904, fifteen in 1905, 
fourteen in 1906. six in T907, and ten in T908. 

Mrs. Ellsworth was superintendent in the year T909 and Miss Passage 
was the principal. The numher of graduates that year was eleven. 

The year of 19 10 Mr. Jennings was chosen superintendent, with Miss 
Tarrey as assistant. Mr. Jennings served the school for two years. Miss 
Tarrey was taken sick during her second year and was followed by Mr. 
Sessions, a former teacher at Sheridan. In the spring of 191 1 Mr. Sessions 
resigned and Mr. Whitcomb took his place. The number of graduates in 
19 10 was seven, and in ion there were ten. 

In the fall of 19 12 Mr. Whitcomb was chosen superintendent and Miss 
Galation was principal. Tn 19T3 Miss Hunt was secured as principal. There 
were twenty-three graduates in 1912, twenty-seven in 19T3 and fifteen in 

In the fall of 1914 Albert L. Cook was secured to take the superin- 
tendent's chair, and Miss Rowe was principal. The number of graduates 
in 1915 were fourteen. 

The new Stanton union school building was started in the year of 
'J 905 and was completed in October, 1906. This building is a modern brick 
structure, well heated, lighted and ventilated. The school has a well-equipped 
laboratory and a good library has also been worked up from time to time. 
The rooms are tastefully decorated and many of the best pictures adorn the 
walls. Tn connection with the school there is one of the best-equipped normal 
rooms in the state. 

The Stanton high school has been on the university list for the last 
twelve years. This school has always been prominent in debating contests 
and oratorical work. During the last year, under the supervision of Supt. 
A. L. Cook, the>- have been able to defeat some of the l>est schools in the 


county. The high school has always coni]>eted at the held meets, and has 
won a share of prizes. The silver trophy offered hy Mr. Baker, of Green- 
ville, was won from Howard City in 1915 — Stanton winning a total of ten 
games out of a possihle fourteen during the year. The members of the 
championship term were Melville Been. Carl Busch, George M. Stevenson, 
.11 email B. Blumberg, L. C. Barnett. Lloyd Barnett, Frank A. Miller, Glenn 
liunsicker and Vernon J. Tishue. In all the years of the Stanton high 
school this was the first aggregation to laud the championship. Stanton has 
been represented by a number of fast teams in basket ball, and has defeated 
many of the best teams of the county. 

The Montcalm County Xormal was organized in 1908. It is a depart- 
ment of the Stanton school system but is separated and distinct in all man- 
agement. Inning its own teachers and under the direction of the county nor- 
mal board and board of education. The normal teachers are Miss Winn, 
Miss Wilson, Miss 1 'aimer and Miss Crawford. The number of graduates 
in j 908 was seven: in 1909, seventeen; 1910. eighteen; iq.ii, twelve; 1912. 
thirteen: 7QT3. nineteen; 1914, fifteen, and TQi 5, nine. 


The first school was founded in Howard City in 1869. soon after the 
first settlement was mack. So rapid was the growth of the town that there 
was not time to build a school building at the time, so a rough board build- 
ing, formerly used as a carpenter shop near the site of the present electric 
light plant, Avas made into a school house by placing in it some crude 
benches and desks. Mr. Sabine was the first teacher. The district was' 
organized under the primary school law, with Charles O. A. Adams and L. 
I). Locklin as directors. J. T. Jones as moderator and John F. Chubb as 

On February ^ 1871. plans and specifications were adopted by the dis- 
trict, for a school building, which was to be twenty- four by thirty-six feet. 
This was to be a one-story building. Before work was begun upon it the 
plan was found to be inadequate for the present needs. Therefore, on 
September 79, new plans were adopted for a two-story building, thirty-eight 
by forty-eight feet, which was to be erected upon the present site. Annie 
Pierson, the first teacher, remained until 1872. In 1873 the upper room was 
finished, and Thomas F. Keith took charge. At this time the facultv con- 
sisted of Morris F. Keith. Sarah "L. Keith and Julia Dove. So great was 
the increase in numbers attending that, in 1878. Lowell L. ITorton was 




added to the stall, having the position of principal. On January 6, 1879, 
Airs. S. C. Langerson took charge of the intermediate department, which 
position she held for nineteen years. 

On February T7, r 885. the school house burned, and it was decided to 
rebuild upon the old site. A new building was erected, which contained live 
rooms and a recitation room. 

In 1897 a number of new subjects were added to the curriculum. In 
the same year Fthelwyn Whalley became principal. At this time the enroll- 
ment was four hundred and eighteen. The following is a complete list of 
the Howard ( ,'ity principals: 1873, M. F. Keith; 1878, Lowell Morton; 
1879-80. Thomas II. Clayton; 188T-82, William E. Watt; 1883-84, Myron 
(). Craves; T884-87. F. V. Wiekham : t883, C. R. Collingwood; 1889-90, 
George 1). I'apson; 1890-97. F. D. Straight; (898-1904, Henry Tulles; 
1904-16. ]. F. McCloskey. 

The Howard City high school is on the university list. Tt. boasts of 
nine teachers, four for the high school and eighth grade, one for sixth and 
seventh, one for fourth and fifth, one for second and third, and one for the 
first grade and kindergarten. There are two hundred and twenty-one pupils 
in the grades, and seventy-three in the high school, making a total of two 
hundred and ninety- four. The building contains nine rooms, the high school 
and eighth grade being on the second floor, the rest on the first. Improve- 
ments have been made at various times, steam heat being installed in 1910, 
electric lights in 1913 and drinking fountains in 1 f> t 5 . The total number 
of graduates to date is two hundred and thirty-two, nine being the average 
number graduated each year. 

Howard City was one of the first schools in this part of the eountv to 
introduce music and drawing. Mr. Oaks was the first music instructor, 
taking charge about twenty-six years ago. Latin was introduced the same 
year: German not until IQ12. 

By Harriet Macomber. 

fn 1845 tne inhabitants of Greenville decided that the future prosper- 
ity of this town depended upon the education of their children. Their sin- 
cerity in this was shown by the erection of a school building on the site now 
occupied by the city hall. Since then eight other structures and two annexed 
portions have housed the schools of the place. 

The three-storied white brick building, which perished by fire in 191 1, 


was the best known of these structures, for it stood like a sentinel guarding 
the little city from 1869 to 191 1. The cost was $30,000. Judge Myron Rider 
being the director at the time of its erection. The fine high ground upon 
which it stood was purchased from the government by Judge Josiah Rus- 
sell. This land became the property of Manning Rutan, and was by his 
generosity presented to the city as a school site. The land was covered with 
line oak trees, both white and black, while here and there a fine specimen of 
wild cherry added variety. The land sloped gently northward toward Frank- 
lin streets; its once beautiful slopes have since been replaced by artificial 
levels, far less attractive than the original ground. 

So suitable in many ways was this elevated site, and so dear had it 
become to the alumni of the school, that no material consideration could 
induce them to believe that a more suitable location could be found for the 
line building which replaced the structure built in 1869. 

That the men of the sixties believed in doing things well was proved by 
the great strength of the walls of the old building. Gouged by fire in its 
hour of destruction, the walls stood firm, acting like a great chimney 
through which the lire poured, destroying the interior, but powerless against 
the. walls. The lire occurred on the night of April .23, 191 r. 

The little first building, twelve by sixteen feet, was presided over by 
Catherine Satterlee. Of her twenty-five pupils, six were Indians. She 
received for her services nine shillings a week, and the privilege of testing 
the beds and fare in the homes of her school children. 

A second building, known as the '"'Old Red School House," which served 
for church and public meetings, as well as school, stood at the corner of 
(."ass and Lafayette streets. This was removed to Grove street east, and 
transformed into a small boarding house, called the "Lagle Hotel.'' 

Quite the most ambitious of the earlier buildings was a four-room struc- 
ture on ("ass street, erected in 1853. Lor many vears the name of Mrs. . 
Millie Stoughton was a power in this building. Other earlier teachers were 
LI Pi. Towle. the first teacher, who was succeeded by J. R. P>righam. But 
time and change wrought theii work here, too. and the old wooden building 
is now a tenement house on upper Orange street. 

Cities often change their minds as to the direction of their growth — 
this was true of Greenville. The city began to grow northward, until todav 
a good part of the town stands north of the river. Because of the increase 
of population in North Greenville a building of white brick, containing two 
rooms, was erected on William street, in 1872. In time manufacturing 


crowded this building, making the vicinity unsuitable for a school; it was 
abandoned and afterwards sold and torn down. 

The schools became so crowded that a small, two-roomed building was 
erected on ("lay street: this was first, occupied in 1889. bWen this was not 
provided with any of the modern conveniences until it was remodeled in 1909. 
Jt is today one of the most cheery and inviting building in the city. It 
contains six rooms, and is provided with furnace, electric lights and base- 
ment toilet rooms. 

In 1902 the present Cass street school, a neat red brick structure, was 
erected. The contractor was F.dward Backus, who did the work for $5,000. 
This contained four rooms, provided with furnace heat and electric lights. 
.Manv improvements have been added to it. in later years, until now it is a. 
well-equipped building. 

Tn 1908. at a cost of, an annex to the white brick building was 
erected. This was a two-story and basement affair, which served as high 
school auditorium. It contained also the superintendent's office, and four 
recitation rooms, and the rooms devoted to the use of the commercial depart- 
ment. The high school had been occupying the third story of the old build- 
ing; this the steadilv increasing numbers crowded until it seemed impossi- 
ble to get along with so little room; moreover, the floors of the third story 
were condemned as insecure; hence the annex was built to relieve the crowded 
rooms. This annex was not entirely satisfactory, and yet when tire took the 
old building, the structure, though injured, did not burn, but remained and 
became verv useful during the building of the new structure. The old build- 
ing burned on Sunday night. With characteristic energy, the superinten- 
dent. C b. Straight, planned and arranged accommodations for the school. 
On Wednesday all students were in classes again. The Grange hall became 
the scene of much activity, and the city hall became a school house for the 
younger grades. 

There is one more small building to mention. The Pearl street school 
was occupied first in January, 1914. This is a building of two rooms for 
the younger children of the North Greenville families, it is well built, and 
possesses all the necessary equipment for a well-ordered school. 

Great interest surrounds the fine structure built to replace the old 
''Union school." Its corner stone was laid in 191 2 with impressive cere- 
monies. In June, 1913. the commencement exercises were held in its audi- 
torium. The building is one of the most modern in design of any in the 
state. The architect who drew the plans is E. Boyd, of Lansing. The 


contractors were Wright ft 1'rall, and they did their work well. The struc- 
ture stands in the center of Franklin street, which slopes northward from 
it. It extends broadly from east to west one hundred and sixty-five feet 
and has a depth of one hundred and thirty-five feet. This material is red 
shale brick, with trimmings of white sandstone, the roof being" of red tile. 
There are many entrances, but the main entrance is in the center of the 
north frontage. !>y this one enters a corridor extending east and west, 
while directly in front is the north wing of one story, containing the tine 
high school auditorium. This room is the crowning glory of the building; 
nothing", seemingly, has been left undone in making it beautiful and useful. 
At the south end is a stage with all the equipment for entertainments or 
plays, yet the utilitarian side, has not here been forgotten, for wooden slid- 
ing partitions may be used for transforming it into recitation rooms. The 
same planning has been used in the balcony in the north end of the room. 
The woodwork is in the dull finish of a beautiful brown oak. The desks 
are of the same color, in mission style. These are unique in that they were 
suggested by Superintendent Straight, and designed in the merchanical 
drawing department under the charge of Hester Fuller; the desks are 
removable, each having a silver plate containing its number, and a chair 
with a duplicate number. In twelve minutes students remove the desks and 
transform the room into an audience room, reception hall, great play room, 
or whatever way as be desired. Pieces of statuary and line pictures adorn 
the room, the whole effect being one of rest fulness and beauty. The same 
scheme for desks is carried out in the primary room with perfect success. 
The little folks like nothing better than changing the prosaic arrangement 
usual in school furniture, to more artistic forms. Upon this same corridor 
may be found the superintendent's office, high school recitation rooms, 
three grade rooms and numerous cloak rooms. 

The stairs at the west end descend to the library. This is both public 
and school library, and the librarian. Alice Fuller, looks after the needs of 
all. The library is fast recovering from the injuries done bv fire and water; 
the people of the city often add gifts which are greatly appreciated. Among 
the most prominent donors was Dr. John Avery, who gave many volumes. 
Miss Laura Richardson has recently presented both books and pictures. Var- 
ious reading tables accommodate students. The best current literature is 
provided, and even the little folks have their own corner for reading. 

From the basement corridor one may enter great play rooms, one for 
boys and one for girls. Here, too, are well-equipped laboratories, with the 


necessary class rooms. Toilet rooms are on this floor and on the second 
Moor. From the corridor on the second floor one may enter the bookkeeping 
department, English class room, seventh and eighth grade rooms, balcony 
and teachers' rest room. All rooms are light and well ventilated. The 
equipment of the entire building is fast becoming ideal. All floors are of 
reinforced concrete, arranged to be quite noiseless. The walls are as yet of 
white, but will be tinted in harmonious colors as time goes on. 

Perhaps the. once despised "Annex'' is today, in the minds of the pupils, 
the most important part of the building, for there is the gymnasium, the 
scene of many a hard-fought battle, in basket ball, of many a gay, frolicsome 
part}-, and of physical training classes enjoyed by all. In the basement are 
shower baths, toilets and the manual training room. Tn the second story is 
the commercial department under the able instructions of Harry Myers. 

Too much cannot be said in honor of the men who have personally 
superintended the building of this fine school and its equipment. No effort 
was considered by them too great to make for the success of this school 
plant, although they are busy men, with more than enough of business of 
their own to occupy their time. These men are Charles M. Miller, Ellis 
Ranney, Dr. Duncan K. Black, Frank Gibson and Edward J. Bowman. 
Since the erection of the building Doctor Black has purchased and presented 
to the school different land south of the building for a fine athletic field. 
Improvements have been begun upon it, and in time the "D. K. Black Ath- 
letic Field" will be one of the finest in the state. 

One could hardly close this brief article about the schools without a bit 
of reminiscence. Memory recalls some of the sterling people who were 
strong supporters of the school in an early day. A few of them have been 
mentioned. But there was a group of college men and women who made 
their interest felt by even the younger pupils in the early days: Rev. J. L. 
Patton. pastor of the First Congregational church for twenty-five years; 
Mrs. Patton and Mrs. S. R. Stevens, who used to bring their weekly darn- 
ing and sit among us listening with keen interest; Mr. and Mrs. E. F. Cra- 
bill, always as much at home there, and as well known to the pupils as the 
teachers themselves; Doctor and Mrs. Fish, the father and mother of our 
dear high school principal, Mary F. Fish. There have been many more as 
the years have rolled along, and most of them have passed on. 

Comparatively few superintendents have been employed since 1869. The 
first was vS. S. Babcock. who forsook teaching to become a Detroit lawyer; 
Mr. MacGrath; Mr. Dutton ; Edward P. Church, who served many years.. 



and left in 1889 to become superintendent of the state school for the blind; 
N. A. Richards; F. I). Smith; Chester F. Straight, now representing the 
Charles F. Merrill Book Company. The present superintendent is A. R. 
Shigley, who is ably carrying on the work so well begun. The small num- 
ber of superintendents indicate good usage on the part of Greenville people, 
and efficient service on the part of the men. Added to the work of these 
superintendents is the work of Miss l r ish. whose splendid influence over 
school and community can never be overestimated. 

The high school has in the present year enrolled two hundred and fif- 
teen pupils. To these is offered a choice of several courses. A college pre- 
paratory course offers Latin, French and German. A commercial course 
offers bookkeeping, penmanship, typewriting and stenograph)-. Work in 
algebra, geometry and trigonometry is offered; the history classes are manv 
and well taught; a course in agriculture is provided, and a course in mechani- 
cal drawing. Sewing classes attract the girls, and manual training is offered 
both boys and girls. A class in orchestral music is receiving instruction, and 
one in vocal chorus work. A high school "Senate" offers to the boys oppor- 
tunity for oratory and argument, and a literary club will fulfill the same 
office for the girls. 

A system of school banking .through all the grades attempts to teach 
common business rules and saving. Drawing and music receive much atten- 
tion through all the grades. A phonograph has been purchased through the 
efforts of the seventh and eighth grade pupils, and a lantern is soon to be 
installed. Altogether, the little school community is a busy, busy place, with 
no room for sluggards. The school is drawing in the fine young people 
from the country round about, and their appreciation is an inspiration to all 
connected with the school. The new building is the scene of many lectures 
and club gatherings of the citizens, making it a community center as well as 
school. May the good work go on. and our young people become the best of 
men and women through all these splendid influences. 




On the 5th of June, J 852, a meeting was held in the public school house 
which stood on the northwest corner of Cass and Lafayette streets, in Green- 
ville, for the purpose of considering the expediency of organizing a Congre- 
gational church. Rev. S. N. Manning was chosen the first pastor, and the 
following named people were the charter members: Manning Rutan and 
wife, Hiram II. Slawson and wife. Ursan Goodman and wife, Harriet B. 
Peck, Frank S. Peck, Philander A. Peck, Mrs. Adeline Shaw and William 
Gordon. They continued to hold their meetings in this school house until 
1856, when a frame building was put up at the corner of Cass and Clay 
streets. In 1880 this building was removed to make way for a beautiful 
edifice of stone and brick, which cost $25,000, and which was dedicated on 
June 6, 1880. 

The following names is a list of pastors who have served the church up 
to the present time: Rev. S. N. Manning, 1853-54; Charles Spooner, 
1854-65: J. P. Patton, t 866-90: J. N. Taft. 1800-93; A. M. Hyde, 1894-97: 
F. YY\ TTodgdon, 1897-99; A. R. Curtis, 1899-07: and James Hallidav, 
1907-11. Rev. S. C. Parsons was installed in 1911 and is the present pastor. 
This church has had a large place in community life, is broad in its doc- 
trines, simple in creed, generous in benevolences, and belongs to the Lansing 
Association of Congregational Churches. It has a large, prosperous Sunday 
school, and an enthusiastic Young Peoples' Society. The Missionary Socie- 
ties and the Ladies' Aid Society in connection with this church does a vast 
amount of good each year. The present membership of the church numbers 
three hundred and eighty. 


The First Congregational church of Stanton was organized on March 
7, 1874, with the following charter members:' Wealthy B. Vinecore, Lucille 


V. Smith, Annah IT. Camburn. Mary V. Daniel, Polly Gardner, Frances S. 
Gilbert, Kate C. YV. Fenn, S. Marion Wood, Nora J. Shepard, Alfreda W. 
Paine, Harland P. Nevins, Alexander Yinecore, John M. Daniel, Levi 
Camburn and Harmon Smith. Hie first pastor to serve this congregation 
was Rev. George Michael. Others who have served up to the present time 
are: Levi P. Spellman, Wells H. Utley, Augustine G. Hubbard, William 
Clark Burns, John W. Savage. Philip E. Benen and Clarence W. Long. 
William Wedenhoeft is the present pastor. The services w 7 ere at first held 
in the Baptist church, but within a year after the organization of the church 
a new- building was under way. It is located at the corner of Camburn 
avenue and Bradford street. Tt is a neat frame structure, and .the cost of 
construction is estimated at $8,500. The chapel connected with the church 
building in the rear was erected in 1884. The parsonage is located at the 
corner of Lincoln avenue and Bradford street. Tn connection with this 
church is a good Sunday school, a Young Peoples' Society of Christian 
Endeavor, a Ladies' Aid Society, and a Home and Foreign Missionary 
Society. A Men's Uplift Club was organized in November, 1913, and is 
prospering rapidly. The present membership of the church is one hundred 
and sixteen. 


On April 9, 1877, a company of eleven persons met in a little, old, 
disused school house lighted with one hand lamp and two lanterns, to consider 
the advisability of purchasing the same for a place of worship. That even- 
ing the Congregational Society of Sheridan was formed. They decided to 
buy and repair the house. They enlarged the house, put in new windows 
and doors, painted inside and out, and made a cozy little chapel of it. About 
five months later, September 22, 1877, * ne First Congregational church was 
organized, consisting of eleven members, ten women and one man: and that 
man was Rev. J. T. Otis, who was ordained at that time. Reverend Otis 
labored for the church four years and a half. Tie was succeeded by Rev. 
O. B. Waters, who stayed one year. They felt they must go where their 
children could have belter school advantages. Before they had taken their 
departure, "Rev. J. W. Thrush, from Bristol. England, came to take up the 
work. He served the church for two and a half years. 

The same week that Mr. Thrush resigned, a young man from Union 
Seminary, New York, came to preach, expecting to stay for a few weeks' 
vacation, but before the time was up, he discovered the field was needy and 


large- enough for a whole-hearted Christian - minister. He felt his inability 
to do justice to such a held, which, he claimed, extended sixteen miles or 
more each way. Under his live, earnest effort, the Sunday school soon out- 
grew the little chapel. The next thing was to "seek after a sign," which was 
this: If the Lord increased the spiritual strength and number during the 
winter, he would take steps toward building a church. The sign was given. 
The church itself quickened and numbers increased as never before. "Let 
us arise and build.'' "Times were so hard it could not be done." It seemed 
an impossible undertaking. But the way the leader went to work, encour- 
aged the rest to hope. He did not say, "I will not give, sleep to mine eyes 
or slumber to mine eyelids until the thing is accomplished," neither did he 
advocate the eight-hour system, but he quietly went at it and managed to 
get in eight hours in the forenoon and eight in the afternoon almost every 
day after he began the work. Neither did he, like Solomon, choose out 
three score and ten thousand men to bear burdens. He put on overalls and 
rubber boots, took an axe and saw and started for the woods. After some 
hard work and discouragements the first hard battle was fought; twenty 
thousand feet of logs were on the banks of. the Jake .ready for use. The 
Rubicon was passed and there was no backing down. Some said it could 
not be done, few thought it would ever be completed ; only a very few faith- 
ful souls who knew something of the pastor's determination had faith in the 
enterprise; and they only because they faith in him. 

He did not ask the people for money at the beginning; he knew it 
would be useless; the}- would have laughed at him — if not openly, in secret. 
He went on without asking help, except la1x>r. put up and enclosed the 
building, put the roof on and put up the tower. The ladies came to the 
rescue in the meantime, sold ice cream, suppers, had socials and helped pav 
bills. Friends from abroad were appealed to for windows. The spirit 
manifested by the pastor, as day by day he labored with saw and hammer 
on the roof shingling during the hottest days, filled the members with zeal 
and courage. 

Many were the prophecies of failure all along, but in spite of indiffer- 
ence, opposition and discouragements on every hand, the work went along, 
better always than was expected. More money was raised by one-half than 
it was thought it would take at the first. The roof is Gothic. The audience 
room is arched overhead and finished with brackets and panels in oak, oiled 
and varnished; it is wainscotted with oak, and the seats.. are, of, oak. The 
main room seats about two hundred people. The lecture room opening into 
the main room by folding doors, is provided with chairs and will seat about 


two hundred more. The church complete cost about $3,000, and was dedi- 
cated in March, 1888, free of debt. During the summer of 1888 a nice par- 
sonage was erected, and in November the Rev. A. II. Claflin took his vaca- 
tion. On his return, on November 25, he brought his bride with him. Mr. 
and Mrs. Claflin remained with the church until 1891. In 1892 the church 
became self supporting. Since that time the church has been served by the 
following pastors: Rev. C. L. Preston, J. E. Butler, O. M. Snyder, E. A. 
Kirkland, Fred Pinch, J. F. Lansborough. G. II. Alexander. F. II. Bridge- 
water is. the. present pastor of the church, and he has been here one year. 
The present membership is seventy-nine. Names of charter members : Rev. 
J. T. Otis, Emma Bean, Eliza Barnes, Sarah Holland, Mrs. J. T. Otis, Mrs. 
E. J. Barkham, Sarah Burton. Caroline Collins, Francis Monroe, II. II. 
Stoddard and Mary Summers. In connection with the church is conducted 
a Sunday school, which has three adult organized classes, one being a men's 
class. Nearly all classes in school are organized. Enrollment about one 
hundred and fifty. Average attendance during vacation season, over ninetv, 
also have a cradle roll. This church is located in Evergreen township, sec- 
tion 31. 


The Union Congregational church of Crystal was organized on May 13, 
1877, with the following charter members: Edward W. Slack, Chauncev 
Case, B. S. Frisbie, William W. Naragan, Mary E. Case, John \Y. Coore, 
Dwight Demshu, N. T. Demshu, Henry Graf, J. C. Young. Maggie Fuller. 
Marian Champlin, Elizabeth Packard, Mrs. John Moore, Mrs. Alfred FYiller. 
Mrs. Rose Wright, R. S. Smith and Mary S. Fox. 

At the initial meeting this religious society was incorporated and the 
following trustees chosen for the year following : Chauncev Case, B. S. 
Frisbie, A. L. Smith, W. W. Naragan. John P. Young. 

Rev. N. L. Otis served the congregation as a first pastor and held this 
as his charge, until it was thoroughly organized and on working basis. Since 
Reverend Otis officiated the following ministers have served this church: 
Rev. Robbins, I). A. Holman. S. S. Siebert, J. E. Ted ford. George E. Brown. 

This church is located on section 17. township of Crystal. 



The initial meeting of this church was held in 1880, with the following 
persons as members: A. B. Danforth, Mary A. Danforth, Estellcs H. 
Dan forth, Ella E. Danforth, William II. Winter, Mary E. Winter, John T. 
Jamieson, S. S. Parmer, jehiel Chapin, Laura M. Chapin, Mary P. Rey- 
nolds, Lizzie N. Reynolds, Agnes M. Jamieson. 

The next meeting was held in the Advent church at Lakeview, and 
the following elected trustees: H. B. Danforth, William H. Winter, John 
T. Jamieson, John Wood and Robert Edgar. 

The first meetings of the church were held in the Grand Army of the 
Republic hall, with Rev. Charles Scarer as the pastor. Now they have a 
very fine building, located at the corner of Lincoln and Fifth streets. It is 
constructed of veneered brick, at a cost of $5,000. They have a Christian 
Endeavor League, and also prayer meetings throughout the week. The fol- 
lowing is a list of pastors who have served the church from time to time: 
P.nrt. Riggs. William Klore, Campbell. Myers, Secord, Sherwood, Hum- 
phrey and Houston. 

They now have a membership of eighty-eight. 


The Congregational church of Nevins Lake, which is located in section 
4 of Sidney township, was organized on March 11, 1906, with twenty char- 
ter members. On the 14th of October, 1903. articles of incorporation of a 
church society at Nevins Lake were Piled, and the purpose of this association 
was given as desirous of co-operating with the Eirst Congregational church 
of Stanton in maintaining a Sunday school and in supporting the preaching 
of the gospel at Nevins Lake chapel, a building which was to be used for 
any evangelical society as approved by the trustees of said society. The 
members present at this meeting were : G. E. Drake, Sylvia Kilpatrick, 
Emily Waters. Emily Kilpatrick, Susie A. Curtis, John C. Peterson, Minnie 
Mesler, D. L. Waters. Edna Curtis, Edna Kilpatrick. Agnes Disbro, Elsie 
E. Kilpatrick, E. W. Mesler, E. C. Lowry. John A. Nelson, Oscar E. Nelson, 
Erank Toleson and Andrew Knits. 

The Nevins Lake church building was erected in 1903, at a cost of 
$000. This congregation has been served by the following pastors : C. W. 
Long and William Wiedenhoft. The latter served this as a charge from 


Stanton. The society at present supports a Sunday school and Ladies' Aid 
Society. The present membership numbers sixteen. 


The First Congregational church of Butternut was organized on May 
14, 1892, with thirty-three charter members, which are as follow: E. W. 
Johnson, Mrs. Emma Johnson, Airs. Fanny Johnson. C. E. Chandler, Mrs. 
C. E. Chandler, Mrs. Nancy Cross, Mrs. Anna Bunnell, Mr. and Mrs. E. C. 
Henty, John Kerry, Myron Slayton, H. FT. Aldrich, Polly Aldrich, Jasper 
Aldrich, Isaac George, Mary E. Evans. Sarah Bellenger, Orren Myers, 
Mrs. Orrin Myers. Olive Mack, Eben Chandler, D. 11 Patterson, Mrs. D. B. 
Patterson, Arviria Ilively, Man- Martin, Alice Kipp, Mr. and Mrs. Charles 
Sherman, Mr. and Mrs. E. O. Smith. Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Wamsley, Mrs. 
Carlie Patrick. The first deacons of this church were E. W. Johnson. John 
Keary and D. B. Patterson ; and the first trustees were Myron Slayton. 
Willis H. Wamsley and TT. H. Aldrich. E. C. Henty served as the first 
clerk, and C. E. ("handler was the first treasurer. Rev. Isaac D. Lillie was 
the first pastor to serve the church, and the others that followed are : B. C. 
Robbins, T. A. Shanton. D. A. TIalman, S. S. Seibert, J. E. Tedfore, George 
B. Brown. Walter Lyon and N. L. Otis. 

At first the religious services were held in a hall in Butternut, but in 
1800 a new building, constructed of brick, at a cost of $2,500. was built on 
a site that was donated bv Charles Cross and wife. This lot consisted of 
one-half acre, and in the year 1915 the congregation bought another half 
acre adjoining it for a parsonage, and they are fortunate to have paid for it 
already. An interesting Sunday school and Ladies' Aid Society are con- 
ducted under the auspices of the church. Rev. Burton D. Snook is the pres- 
ent pastor. 


The society of the Congregational church of Bloomer was organized on 
June 3, 1872. at the house of T. B. Colton. Four years later a (ine church 
building was erected and the growth of this church was very marked from 
this time. Rev. Samuel Sessions was the first pastor, and he served from 
1872 to 1874. The charter members were as follow: B. G. Cooley, Sarah 
Cooley, F. B. Colton, II. Colton. H. M. Robinson, Jane Robinson, Maria 
Robinson. John Murray, Margaret Murray. II. G. Cooley, Mary E. Cooley. 
Abagail Barton. Rev. and Mrs. Samuel Sessions. The pastors who have 


served this church are as follow: j. M. Smith, 1874-75; James G. Free- 
born. 1875-76; George Candee. 1877-79; John Tlusted, 1879-81; R. A. Tay- 
lor, 1882-83; Darrell Lee, 1883; W. H. Skcntlebury, 1885-88; John A. 
Kaley, 1889-90; David Kirkpatrick. 1890-92; I. A. Shanton, 1893-94; Clark 
C. Otis, 7894-95; •- ^- Miller. 1890-97; Samuel S. Seibert. 1898-1900; 
N. J- Myers, 1901-04; George \V. Dell, 1905-09; William Mitchell, 1910-12; 
\V. F. Frost, 1913-14; J. F. Kennedy, 1 9 14-15; and W. P. Frost is the 
present pastor. The church was rebuilt in 1902, at a cost of $4,000. The 
present membership is sixty. 


While Sidney had religious meetings from a very early date, there was 
no special denomination organized; but the first meetings held, were con- 
ducted by Revs. Piper and Fzekiel Rossman, members of the United Breth- 
ren church, at the house of Henry Gilmore. A society was formed when the 
school house was built, and services held in it about a year. Then they were 
held in the log school house at the center. The society consisted of the fol- 
lowing members: Joshua Noah and wife, Mrs. Van Ness, Roswell Gill- 
more and wife, John Ryan, Henry Gillmore and wife. Noble Gillmore and 
George Gillmore. There was no meeting house built, as the society was. 
eventually broken up. 

The Congregational church at Sidney was organized on June 10, 1890, 
with fourteen charter members. William Noah was chosen the first deacon, 
Mrs. Kittle was the first clerk, and she held this office for seventeen years. 
Rev. A. W. Claflin was the first minister, and he came from Sheridan to> 
Sidney to conduct the meetings, which were held in a school house before the 
erection of the church. Reverend Claflin was instrumental in the building of 
this church, and the people of Sidney have ever been grateful to him for this 
act. It was built in 1887: the corner stone was laid in June and it was dedi- 
cated in January, 1889. Mr. Claflin left this church in charge of Rev. 
James F. Butler in the fall of 1891 and went to live in New York state. 
Rev. C. F. Preston took charge of the church when Rev. Butler went away, 
and then came Owen M. Snyder. Femuel A. Kirkland, Fred Pinch, John 
Fansborough, G. TT. Alexander and S. A. Bridgewater, who is the present 
pastor. On the 16th of June, 1887, the ladies of this church organized a 
Fadies' Aid Society, and this organization has been kept up to the present 
day. The church now. has a-.nrcmliership of over forty. 



This church was organized under Rev. S. R. Roseburough, August 12, 
1879. Previous to this time he had heen conducting meetings in the school 
house. At the first meeting, held for the purpose of organizing a society, 
he enrolled the following names: S. R. Rosehorough, Nathan Coleman, S. 
YV. Whittlesey and wife, j. S. San ford. Airs. S. Hunt and Mrs. Coney. S. 
R. Rosehorough, Xathan Coleman, and S. W. Whittlesey were the first 
trustees, and J. S. San ford was the clerk. Rev. Rosehorough only stayed 
about one year when he was succeeded by Rev. Henry Marsh, under whose 
efforts the societv erected a neat and substantial place of worship which cost 
about $2,000. 

The following is a list of the pastors who have served this church since 
the organization : George \Y. Riggs, Tra W. Bell, Carlson, A. D. Whaley, 
William Wert. J. (". Gibson. V.. V. Gray. !>. TT. I'etton and IT. Scarlett. 

There has been quite a change made in the building which consisted in 
the addition of a kitchen, two dining rooms, a reading room and furnace 
room in the basement of the church. The value of the church property at 
present is placed at $3,500. The membership at present numbers thirty- 
two, with a very active Sunday school of about sixty members. It is inter- 
esting to note that Rev. Henry March served this congregation .for fifteen 


The meeting for the organization of the hirst Raptist church of Green- 
ville was held on November kj, 1853, at the school house located on the 
corner of Lafayette and Cass streets. Rev: I. Rasco was chosen moderator 
of the assembly, IT. P. Downs, clerk, and the names of twenty-six members 
were placed upon the church records. In September, 1854, the organization 
became a part of the Grand River Baptist Association. The church at this 
time embraced but six male members. Great difficulty was experienced at 
this early period in obtaining a suitable place of worship, and for a consider- 
able time it was not possible to maintain regular appointments. Finally an 
old store belonging to M. Rutan was secured which was fitted up and used 
until 1865, when the services were held in the Congregational church for 
about a year. 

On February 10, the church dedicated its own house of worship at the 
corner of Washington and Franklin streets. In t887 the church was rebuilt 


and rededicated. The pastors o\ the church have been Rev. J. Roscoe, 1853- 
55; A. P. Howell, 1855-57. ^ r - S. D. Ross, a member of the church, sup- 
plied, and was ordained as pastor on November 28, 1857. He remained 
until the advent of Rev. Prcscott in 1862. and in 1864 Rev. A. Piatt was 
summoned to the charge. In February, 1865, Rev. Dr. Drummond supplied 
the pulpit, until Rev. I). E. Hills became pastor, who remained until 1868. 
Rev. C. E. B. Armstrong' was called in T870, and the same year a parsonage 
was secured. The resignation of Reverend Armstrong occurred in 1874, 
when Rev. E. Curtis succeeded. His pastoral labor extended over a period 
of six years, and Rev. Jay Huntington began his labors in May, 1880. The 
pastors which followed are John E. Gault. Marcus E. Hayne, 1884; E. D. 
Bass. T889: E. Talbut Carter, i8go; D. E. Hills, 1891, Charles E. Barker, 
1897; William H. Garfield. 1900: J. TI. Stuart, 1904: E. A. Lankin. 1907; 
L. D. Pettit, 101 1. XV. Bernard Jarman was called in 191 5. 


The society of the First Baptist church of Stanton was organized under 
the supervision of Rev. TE E. W. Palmer, October 25, 1866. H. E. W. Palmer, 
Cornelia H. Palmer, Nancy Davis, G. E Case and Mary E. Case constituted 
the first organization. Mr. Palmer was elected pastor, G. E. Case, clerk, and 
David Morse. G. E. Case, and J. P. Beers, trustees. The following pastors 
have served the congregation since its organization: H. E. W. Palmer, John 
Van Vleck, E. Curtis. A. W. Hendricks, C. N. Burnham, C. C. Miller, J. W. 
Henry. E. Chesncy. E. IT. Young.- Eugene Reverance. H. McGrath, George 
W. Bates, E. M. Parsons and E. E. Britten who is the present pastor. 

The church, which was constructed of wood, at a cost of $3,000, was 
the first place of worship in the village. Tt was constructed in 1868 and 
dedicated on January 3. 1869. Elder Van Vleck was pastor at this time, 
and he together with A. E. Mather and S. B. Fish conducted the dedicatory 
services. The lot upon which it stands was donated by George E. Case. 
The church membership now numbers eighty-three and the Sunday school 
in connection with this church has a membership of seventy-seven. The 
voting people have organized a Baptist Young People's Union and have a 
membership of twenty-four. The Bethel Mission Sunday school conducted 
under the auspices of this church has a membership of fifty-seven. 


The First Free Will Baptist church society was organized by Revs. 
William H. Smith and D. H. Eord, at a meeting held in the school house at 


Howard City, on the evening of May 3, 1874, and its original members were 
named as follows : David II. Lord. Samuel j. Pulsifer, Arthur Scott. 
Eugene L. Brown, Annetta M. Lord, Arvilla A. Pulsifer, Electa Scott. 
Louisa Lord. Helen I'. Pulsifer, Emma Strong and Ellen Hickok. S. G. 
Jlickok joined soon after. Lev. David II. Lord remained in charge six 
years. He preached the first sermon in Howard City in the waiting room 
of the depot in 1870. The society continued to meet at the school house 
during the summer, but soon afterwards David IT. Lord built a house twenty- 
four by thirty feet which cost over $500. where they held their meetings for 
a time and now constitutes a vestry of the church. 

In the spring of 1875 the society commenced the body of a brick build- 
ing thirty-six by fifty-five feet. It is a substantial and commodious building 
and cost about $2,000. It -wav dedicated on May 30, t88o, by Ransom Dunn, 
D. D., of Hillsdale, and at that time a collection was taken amounting to 
$500 which cleared the society from debt. In the month of May, 1870, the 
first Sabbath school was organized in Reynolds in the dining room of the 
small hotel kept by William Edmondson. On the first day of meeting there 
was an attendance of seventeen scholars. Rev. David H. Lord was su])erin- 
tendent and assisted principally by Mrs. William F. Thompson, who named 
it the "Star of Hope" Sabbath school. After meeting at the hotel a few 
times the place of meeting was changed to a little carpenter shop owned by 
Samuel J. Pulsifer. which was so cold in the winter time that they again 
resorted to the hotel. This shop was also at times used as a meeting house. 
In the summer of the next year Amos R. Mather became the teacher of the 
first Bible class organized in Reynolds. This Sabbath school was the germ 
of the Union Sabbath school, which was well attended until two churches 
were erected, when it was divided. 


The First Baptist church society was organized on February 16. 1873. 
by Rev. X. Stillwell. whose efforts had brought the friends together. He 
preached to this circle every alternate Sabbath. The society built a church, 
but apparently they were not entirely successful as their meetings were soon 
discontinued. It was not long, however, before it was reorganized by J. j. 
Martin, and the following officers were elected: C. V. Howe, deacon; C. 
Walling, clerk; A. A. Edburge, treasurer; trustees, E. Simmons. V. Skid, E. 
Edlntrge, E. Halleck. The following August Rev. J. R. Monroe was called 
to the pastorate. During this year sixteen members were added to the 


church. The next pastor was Reverend Spencer, who was followed in Janu- 
ary. 1877, by A. W. Walterman. Fourteen members were added during- the 
following- year, of which two remain, Mr. Fdbergh and Mrs. Walling. 

Rev. J. j. Monroe came to the church in 1878 and was ordained here 
on July 2, of that year. The next year the church was reorganized, but the 
record of the following ten years was destroyed in the lire of 1889, so a part 
of this history is taken from memory rather than record. However, the 
following pastors served in order : Rev. Mr. Frazier, Charles Baker, J. 
Spooner, Mr. Service, Charles Oldfield, Reverend Welker began a good work 
but his health failed him and he died shortly after leaving the field. Rev. 
(i. A. .Ames came to the field on October 1, t8qo, and continued two and one- 
half years. A Rev. Miller supplied the pulpit three months and then Rev. 
Charles Oldfield again served the church. In August, 1893. Bro. A. M. 
Conklin was granted a license to preach. He made the best of his oppor- 
tunities and rendered the denomination a true service. He is now a field 
worker in the White River Association, where he has built five churches. 
Rev. William Templemen was called to the church in May, 1898, and 
remained a year and a half. Rev. J. H. Carstens came in March, 1900, and 
served acceptablv one year. The church was then closed for much needed 
repairs. In the latter part of July, 1901. a call was extended Rev. W. H. 
Belfry to become pastor. Tt was accepted and he is now on the held. 

There is not time or space to tell the story of the heroic effort and sacri- 
fice that has made and preserved this organization. Great credit is due J. R. 
Abbott, Mrs. C. A. Vandenbergh and others who have for so many years 
carried the burden of responsibility and given their time and service. There 
are now twenty-two members in the church. A spirit of unity prevails and 
the finances are in a satisfactory condition. Services are held every Sunday 
both morning and evening, and prayer meeting every Thursday night. All 
are fairly well attended. The Baptist church in belief does not differ 
materially from some others. They accept the Bible as the inspired word of 
God. They believe in the ordinances which are instituted in the New Testa- 
ment and none others. They have no creed, no catechism, nothing to sub- 
scribe to except faith in Christ and in his teaching. They are independent 
in government and preach a full gospel. 


The First Baptist church of Gowen was organized in 1880 with Rev. 
N. P. Barlon serving as first pastor. The church is a neat frame building 


constructed in 1880 at a cost of $1,500. The following named pastors have 
officiated up to the present time: X. I\ Barlon. Mr. Osgood, Mr. Calla- 
han, Cole Van Gandt and A. T. Xiles. Rev. C. M. Raker is the present 
pastor. The church was reorganized in February. 1900, by Mr. Hudson, a 
state missionary. Their present membership numbers seventeen. 


The Entrican Baptist church was organized on April 15, 1882, with the 
following charter members : Samuel and Margaret Steele, Charles and 
Martha Blumberg, G. \V. Evans and wife. Catherine Lamb, Simon Cummins 
and wife. Era Steele, Julia Steele. Efiie Van Patten, Harrison Cummins, 
Hulbert Brooks and Lizzie Lamb. A. H. Larsons was the first pastor, and 
Rev. J. Bennett is now the pastor in charge. Other pastors are: Rev. 
Chuney, Dannam. If. Bennett, F. Votings. Phillips, Schoonhoven, Gates, C. 
Sherwood, Sharp, .Ellis -and H. \V. Powell. The first church building was 
dedicated on December 30, 1886, and was burned down in August, 190Q. 
But in 191 1 a new and more convenient building took its place. It is located 
in Douglass township in section </, and is constructed of cement blocks at a 
cost of Si 5.000. There are thirty members that belong to this church, who 
also take part in making an interesting Sunday school and Ladies' Aid 


The first meeting of the Baptist church society was held at the house of 
William Everest, in the year 1856. It was organized under the direction of 
.Elder John Van Black, with the following persons as members : William 
Everest and wife. Milton Baldwin and wife, Hiram Hunt and wife, Theodore 
JAerest and wife. The meetings were held in the school house on section 
26 for a number of years. The one on section 10 afterward became the 
place of worship, after which Carson City became the place finallv chosen. 
A fine church, costing about $3,000. was built in 1876. 


At the session of the Michigan conference in 1850, Rev. Eli Westlake 
and Rev. Rufus C. Crane were appointed to Flat River circuit, then com- 
prising parts of Tonia, Allegan, and Kent counties, and Fairplain in Mont- 
calm county. They took an appointment in Greenville in the fall, and in 


January following, .Rev. R. C. Crane commenced a series of special services 
in Fairplain, which resulted in the organization of a Methodist society in 
February, 1 85 J . The meetings were held in a school house then standing 
on the corner o\ Lafayette and Call streets. Among the first members were 
1). C. Moore and wife, George Loucks and wife. Dr. James Chamberlain and 
wife, R. K. Moore and wife, A.' R. Adams and wife. Levi Makley and wife, 
Frastus Fisher and wife, and Mrs. Burgess. 'The first board of trustees was 
organized in April, 185 1, and at once took steps towards erecting a church 
upon a lot donated to the society by John Green. The ground was situated 
on Cass street. James Kent and D. C. Moore were also active in the work. 
George Loucks and Rev. R. C. Crane were appointed a committee, to pro- 
ceed with the erection of the church, and it was completed in the autumn of 
1851. It was made of wood and located on the lot next to the present par- 
sonage on the west. During the pastorate of Rev. A. R. Hoggs this building 
was moved to the corner of Cass and Franklin streets and considerably 
enlarged and other additions were made during the incumbency of J. \Y. 
Reid. In 1.888, during the pastorate of Rev. Louis Grosenbough, the old 
building was removed to make way for the present edifice which is a very 
fine brick building and which was constructed at a cost of $30,000. 

A list of pastors in order of service follows: Rufus C. Crane, Noah 
Fassett. A. R. Harriett, A. Wakefield. George Bignall, A. A. Dunton, Francis 
Glass, W. F. Jenkins. J. L. Child. \Y. W. Rorke, J. W. Dayton, G. S. Barnes. 
\Y. M. Colin. W. J. Aldrich, A. R. Hoggs. J. W. Reid, A. A. Brown, Delos 
Cronk, G. 1). Lee, Louis Grosenbaugh, V. C. Lee. W. L. Davison. Addis 
Albro. R. S. McGregor. A. F. Hart, VY. F. Kendrick. Joseph Dutton, Louis 
De Lamarter and Thomas Cox. The first board of trustees was composed 
of the following persons: George I oucks, Adam Loucks. William Wells. 
James Chamberlain and Rufus K. Moors. The Sunday school was organ- 
ized in 1855. with William Van Loo, J. L. Rook, and Flias Kent as the first 
superintendents. John Lewis became superintendent in 1866, and remained 
in office until 1875 when he was succeeded by O. W. Green for two years. 
A. II . Bennett then took charge for a period of two years, and M. O. Gris- 
wold for one year, when A. XL Bennett was again elected. The attendance 
was small at the beginning, and many of the appliances for successful Sun- 
da}- school work were meager. The school struggled on through the years 
gradually improving in numbers and resources until it now- has a membership 
of four hundred scholars. An Epworth League, composed of fifty mem- 
bers, a Home and Foreign Missionary Society and Ladies' Aid Society, are 
auxiliaries of this church and do a vast amount of good each rear. 



In i86i there was organized in Maple Valley the first Methodist Epis- 
copal church society together with the first Sabbath school, in T862 the 
first class was organized with the following members: E. J. Blanding and 
Avife, E. R. Ferguson and wife, Martin Phillips and wife, Thomas Plum and 
wife, fames Ferguson and wife, J. B. Reed and wife. The first minister was 
Rev. J. II. Tanner who Avas assisted by Rev. John Graham. Reverends 
Fry, Deitz, Johns and Saunders are among the earl)' itinerants. The first 
class leaders were E. J. Blanding and I 7 .. R. Ferguson. 

In the year 1873, after many struggles, a class was organized at Coral 
by a local preacher by the name of Montrose. The place of worship was 
in a small school house located on the site Avhere Park House now stands. 
The circuit was then connected with the Big Rapids district. On February 
1, 1873. Presiding Elder Peck sent J. \V. Fassett to take charge of the work. 
In April of that year an organ was secured. A Sunday school was organ- 
ized. Uncle Henry and Aunt Hannah Holcomb opened their doors for 
services. Soon after the school moved to the hall over D. P. Shook's dry- 
goods store. A great uplift came to the society upon the arrival of Brothers 
Robinson and Oaks, both earnest Methodists, from Detroit. Mr. Robinson 
was closely identified with the interests of the church. The society iioav 
felt that an edifice should be erected. Philip and John Holcomb gave the 
building site. Ilart-Oaks Company gave $300 and all the members and 
friends were a unit to push the enterprise along. \Y. \Y. Robinson was 
appointed class leader and Sunday school superintendent and \Y. R. Hol- 
comb was made steward. 

At the end of the conference year, 1873, Coral was united with the 
Pierson circuit. J. \Y. Hollowell was appointed pastor and lived at Pierson. 
Under his pastorate revival meetings were held and pastoral work carefully 
attended to. Temperance work progressed and a Womens' Central Temper- 
ance League Avas organized. The church was furnished with stoves, col- 
lection boxes, chairs, hymnals and Bibles. In January, 1874. the church was 
dedicated. Dr. Jocelyn. of Albion College, preached the dedicatory sermon. 
In April, Rev. S. \Y. LaDu, of the Bay Ouinte conference, of Canada, came 
here Avith his family and from that time on the history of his life has been 
the history of the circuit, a man of God Avhose heart burned with the love 
for souls and a tower of strength to the cause of Christ for twenty-five years. 


Rev. W. I. Cogshall was sent here as pastor in 1874 and remained for 
two years. The church prospered under his administration. The church 
was blessed with a great revival in 1875. In 1876 the district conference 
was held here. Rev. John Glover followed Mr. Cogshall and was with the 
church for one year. In this year Coral was set off from the Pierson cir- 
cuit and was made a circuit of Ionia district. During this year Windfield, 
Trufant and Maple Valley were organized into classes by Rev. S. W. 
LaDu. Rev. G. A. .Buell, an earnest devoted minister of the Gospel, served 
the circuit for two years. The church was improved by an altar and pews 
were put in, the tower completed and the church decorated with a coat of 
paint. The years 1878 and 1879 were supplied by Rev. S. W. LaDu who 
had associated with him as assistant pastor Rev. J. C. Beach. In 1878 the 
parsonage building was purchased. During 1882 and 1883, Rev. D. S. 
Haviland served as pastor to the great profit of the charge. In 1884 and 
1885 J. \V. Davids, a brother beloved by the whole community, was sent 
here and lost his wife while here. The charge enjoyed prosperity under his 

The following ministers have served: 1886-87, W. R. Pierce; 1887-88, 
J. R. Rowen; t 888-89, S. W. LaDu; 1889-90, Mr. Wyant; 1890-91, N. S. 
Gibbs; 1891-92 (part of the year supplied by S. W. LaDu) J. W. Sutton; 
1892-93. S. W. LaDu (during whose term the annex was built, the church 
repaired, repainted and plastered at an expense of nearly $700) ; 1893-94, 
S. R. Tiny; 1894-95. L. I.. Tower; 1895-96, J. C. Dietrick; 1896-98, William 
Judd: 1898-1902, D. L. Reed; 1902-1904. A. P. Moors; 1904-1905, O. E. 
Wightman; 1905-1906, \Y. W. Chatfield ; T906-1907, Fred Deighton; 1907- 
Kebruary 1, S. McDonald: 1907-1909, Frank James; 1909-1910, W. H. Hol- 
conilt ; 1910-1911, K. L. Prentice; 1911-1.913, Carl Critchet; 1913-1914, J. 
W. YanGundy; 1914-1916. Charles Ostrom. 

In 1896. during Mr. Judd's pastorate, Coral and Howard City were 
united. In November, 1898, the board of trustees decided upon some church 
improvements. The church was papered, a bell was placed in the tower, 
shed built, roof repaired, class room painted, new carpet put down, together 
with minor improvements, all at an expense of $400. Following was a great 
religious awakening in which more than sixty sought God. The spiritual 
interest has continued, culminating in a Avonderful ten-days tent meeting now 
closing. The Coral Methodist Episcopal church has grown from a small 
society to a strong progressive evangelistic missionary church with bright 
hopes for the future. 



The Coral circuit of the Methodist Episcopal church includes the church 
at McKinley which is located in Maple Valley township in section 20. This 
is locally known as the McKinley Memorial church and was organized in 
1869 with tne following charter members: Mr. and Mrs. R. Taylor, Mrs. 
James Banks, Mr. Banks, William Fries, Mrs. Hinchman, Mr. and Mrs. 
Wright and Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Wiseman. The services were first held 
in the school house of Maple Valley, section 29. Among the first pastors 
who served this church were the Reverends Johns. Saunders, Cogshall, Beach, 
Buell, Davids, Pierce, Bowen. Gibbs, TJaviland. 

This church society was re-organized on January 20, 1902. The present 
building was dedicated on December 28, 1902. This is a plain frame build- 
ing which was erected at a cost of $1,200. This congregation has a mem- 
bership of twenty-two at present and has a good Sunday school with an 
average attendance of thirty and also a thriving Ladies' Aid Society. With 
one or two exceptions this church has been connected with Coral as a charge. 


The Coral circuit also includes the Trufant Methodist Episcopal church. 
This is located in the village and was organized on February tt, T901, with 
the following charter members : Ester Emery, Anna Idens, Estella Duvoo 
Mary Heath, Olive Simpson, Louisa Pierce. Tva Force, George Force, I. T. 
Simpson and Mabel Timmerson. This society first met in what was locally 
known as the old "Red Ribbon Flail." This church has been attached to 
the Coral circuit and served by the ministers of that place. The membership 
at present numbers eleven. A Sunday school and Ladies' Aid Society are 
active auxiliaries of this society. 


Hemmingway derives its name from an inland lake at which was located 
a saw-mill connected with a large general store, postoffice, telegraph office, 
branch railroad, and many small boarding houses that usually follow such a 
business. Some of the enterprising citizens saw the need of religious wor- 
ship in the town, and in the year 1882 a Union Sunday school was organ- 
ized and services were conducted occasionally as it was convenient to do so. 


They were held in a board shanty near by. It was soon found that a much 
larger and better building was needed, and a subscription paper was circu- 
lated to raise funds to build a new church. The people were loyal to the 
cause, and the work commenced, and a neat, small church was completed, 
situated on section 18, township of Day. It was dedicated as a Union 
church by Rev. J. L. Patton of Greenville in the year 1884, and retained its 
local name. In 1895 tne ^ ev - J- W. Davids, of Stanton, effected a new 
organization under the name Methodist Episcopal Church of Hemmingway. 
There were only ten charter members. They have a present membership of 
forty, and their present building is a frame structure erected at a cost of 
$t,ooo. A list of pastors who have served this church is as follows: J. 
"\Y. Davids, Jones, Valentine, Wightman, Moore. Parsons, Frye, Pollock, 
Nichols, Bready, James, Hill, McDonald, Critchett and Johnson. The pres- 
ent pastor is Rev. Cramer. 


The Methodist Episcopal church of Edmore was organized in 1878 by 
Charles B. Voorhees, who also served as the first pastor. The church build- 
ing was erected in 1884 under the supervision of Rev. D. C. Reihle. It was 
constructed of wood at a cost of $2,200. A list of pastors who have labored 
for this church are as follow: Charles B. Voorhees, T. B. Miller, A. T. 
Gray, R. II. Bready, W. W. Oldham, J. W. Rawlinson, D. C. Reihle, J. 
Gulick, O. J. Golden, W. J. Wilson, Samuel S. How. A. C. Carman, A. C. 
Parsons. E. W. Davis, U. E. Partridge, M. A. Oldt. A. II . Viner, J. H. 
Cornelius, Irving Eagle, George Traver, A. E. North and W. H. Holcomb. 
The membership is fifty. 


The Methodist Episcopal church of McBride was organized about the 
vear 1875. This church together with the Methodist church at Edmore 
forms a circuit which is served by Rev. W. H. Holcomb. It was organized 
by Charles B. Voorhees. The present building is a frame structure, built 
in 1885 at a cost of $1,800. Rev. D. C. Reihle, who was pastor at that time, 
supervised the work. The pastors who have this church are the same as 
those of the Methodist church at Edmore. The total number of r members 
is fifty-two. 



The First Methodist Episcopal church of Lakeview was organized in 
September, 1873, at the school house, under the supervision of Rev. N. II. 
Hall, who also served as the first minister. It was only six years before 
the people decided to build a church, and the lot was donated to them by 
M. French. The building cost about $2,200 and was dedicated in t88o. 
There were only ten charter members as follow: Oscar Kilborn and wife, 
David Kilborn and wife. J. II. Covey and wife. L. L. Bissell and wife, and 
1\. P. Everett, and wife. A list of pastors who have served this church since 
its organization is here, given: II. IN J. Hall, Jacob Marzolf, J. II. Thomas, 
William Judd, I). S. ITaviland, G. K. Fairbank. C. H. Jacokes. George Haight, 
J. W. Sutton, George Stinchcomb, W. D. Rowland, Fred G. Dunbar, C. T. 
Van Antwerp, E. B. Kenyon, W. Mooney. John Delong, A. E. Tower, C. 
W. ITolden, and N. M. Pritchard. who is the present pastor. The church 
has grown steadily until it now has reached a membership of ninety-two. In 
connection with the church is conducted a good Sunday school, an Epworth 
League, and a Ladies' Aid Society. The Ladies' Aid Society started about 
thirty years ago. with only seven members. The society is now doing some 
repair work on the church and a new furnace is also to be installed. 


The First attempt made to organize a congregation of the Free Methodist 
church society was launched on February 23, 1892. This meeting is rather 
obscure and the only evidence we have is the tiling of articles of incorpora- 
tion with D. (.'!. YVolverlon. Albert Day and Gilbert Haclley acting as the 
board of trustees. Nothing of inTj>ortance came of this meeting and no 
more definite form was taken. 

The next effort to organize a society of this faith was the following- 
year when a board of trustees was elected, as follows: Abner Reed, Joseph 
Palmer and D. C. Wolverton. Tt is very apparent that this was merely a 
continuation of the first effort to establish a society of the Free Methodist 
faitfi as-tfie name of I). C. Wolverton is found serving as a trustee for both 
years. This society soon ceased to exist and the next step was not taken to 
form a society or rather to organize a congregation until September 20, 

This society was incorporated with the following charter members: 
Bessie Brown. Arville Brown, Lucy Rowland, Ada Andeson, May Loper, 
Henry Wycoff, Charles Loper, Nels Johnson, all of Greenville, and Ellen 


Burns, of Belding. The first pastor to serve this newly organized society 
was YV. H. Jury and the Jirst meetings were held in a hall in the down- 
town district. Since the last organization this church has had a rather 
prosperous existence. The membership has increased from time to time 
and it is an earnest, busy little congregation. There is also a Sunday school 
as an auxiliary to the church. The present building is located on Pine street 
and is constructed of cement blocks. Some of the pastors who have served 
this church are as follow: W. H. Jury, F. W. Smith, C. G. Miller, G. W. 
Weidman, C. A. Gallup, J. A. Linscott, A. A. Thompson. S. A. Whitmore 
and the present incumbent. Mary J. Finch. 


The Free Methodist church was organized in Lakeview in the fall of the 
year 1887 under the pastorate of Rev. M. Gilfrin, with a membership of 
seven, some of whom are still alive. Following are the names of the charter 
members : George Perkins and wife, William Clements and wife, Mr. Swear, 
Mrs. Hester Garfield and Airs. Mary Jensen. In its infancy it had a hard 
struggle for existence, but moved steadily onward; its growth has not been 
fast nor has it attained a very large size, but its members have stood stanchly 
for righteousness and trulh. and many have finished their work and gone to 
their reward. For some time they met in private houses, principally at 
George Perkins, until they rented a store building on the outlet of Tamarack 
lake where the furniture factory now stands. A few months later thev 
removed to a store building owned by Frank Perkins, where they remained 
until deprived of a home by the fire of 1894. They then worshipped in 
private houses until in 1909, when under the labors of Rev. J. A. Linscott 
the present building was erected. It is a good substantial building of brick 
veneer located in section 9, of Cato township 12 north, range 8 west. It has. 
a present membership of twenty-five and a good prosperous Sunday school. 


The first German church in this vicinity was the one built a mile west 
of the line in Pierson township, two and one-half miles south of Howard 
City. It was built about twenty-one years ago, Henry Henkel donating the 
site and assisting materially in the building of the church by furnishing the 
lumber, shingles, etc. Mr. Henkel. Fred Farmer, and William Rader were 
the building committee, and others of the substantial German farmers of that 


vicinity assisted in promoting its prosperity. Rev. Henry Utt was the pastor 
in charge when the edifice was built. 

Previous to that time meetings were held in the brick school house at 
Maple Hill, and also at an old log school house which used to stand on the 
corner, in front of Henry Henkel's home. Rev. Charles Staff eld practiced 
there quite a time, making his home at Mr. Henkel's. Rev. S. Henne, remem- 
bered having held meetings in the old log school house there over thirty 
years ago, before the completion of the Grand Rapids & Indiana railroad, 
when he was a circuit rider living at Hersey, traveling from one lumber 
camp to another on horseback. 

This church was formerly the German Evangelical Association but in 
later years was gradually transformed into the Methodist faith and now is 
known as the German Methodist. Reverend Schmidt is the present pastor. 
Other pastors who have served this charge are as follow : Reverends Henry 
Utt, John Miller, Began, Frey, Dill and Hess. 

st. paul's vrotkstant episcopal church of greenvjlle. 

St. Paul's Episcopal church was organized on January 20, 1872, with 
the following membership : William B. Wells, Willard N. Pettee, John 
Avery, C. Jesse Church, Talmadge Stevens, Ephraim Williams and L. Judd 
McComber. The first communion celebrated in the parish was held on 
Easter Day, March 31. 1872, and on this occasion there were sixteen com- 
municants. The first meeting of the parish was held on the same day when 
the following vestry were elected : \V. B. Wells, C. Jesse Church, L. Judd 
McComber. James Cornwell. Andrew W. Hoffman, John Avery and Willard 
N. Pettee. At the first vestry meeting W. B. Wells was elected senior 
warden, and C. Jesse Church, junior warden and treasurer. A Sunday school 
was organized on Sunday. April 28. 1872, with W. B. Wells, superintendent; 
Mrs. S. R. Stevens, secretary, and Mrs. L. Judd McComber, treasurer. 
Several teachers were installed to take charge of the work. While the parish 
was a mission the congregation were under the ministrations of Reverends 
Morris and Wood. Pater followed Rev. Sidney PP Woodford, 1872-74; W. 
IP Sparling, 1880: E. W. Flower, 1881-83; E. J. Babcock, 1884; E. G. 
Nock: Joseph W. Bancroft; J. N. Rip]>ey, 1890-98; Thomas IP Henley; 
Thomas Beeson. 1899-1902; F. C. O'Meara, 1903; W. M. Warlow, M. A., 
1005; J. Taylor Chambers; Harvey Bush, Ph. D., 1909-10; Floyd Keeler, 
M. A., B. P.. toti: Robert B. Evatt was chosen rector in T913 and has 
served up to the present time. 


The society owns its own guild hall and the church edifice which is 
located on the corner of Cass and Clay streets, and is entirely free from debt. 
All the usual activities are maintained in an energetic way and there are 
continual additions to the membership. The church buildings, exclusive of 
lots on which they stand, are. rated as worth $5,000. 


This society was organized by Elder E. H. Brooks, and the following 
names were enrolled : Alfred Driskell, Sally Driskell, Sarah Goodwell, 
Alvin P. Stringham, John Boyer, John E. Carr, Albert Stringham, Daniel 
Boyer, Catharine Boyer, Maria Miller, Emily Williams, Laura Parker, Henry 
Lewis, Sarah M. Lewis, Elizabeth Brown, Mary Gokey, Lucretia E. 
McHenry, Sarah J. Holcomb. Socrates Sheldon, Henry Pomeroy, Mary J. 
Webster, Erepta Gates and Electa Brackbill. Albert Stringham was elected 
first pastor and served the congregation for many years. 


The Church of United Brethren or Dunkard church is located in Crystal 
township, at the southeast corner of the cemetery in section 20. It was 
organized on August 15, 1901, with the following charter members, namely: 
George E. Stone, Matilda Stone, Samuel Bolinger, Watson Towsley, Viola 
Towslev, Jacob Witter. J. Easterday, Emanuel Bolinger, Margaret Bolinger, 
John Bolinger. Sarah Bolinger, Valentine Babcock, Ella Babcock, Sarah 
Roger, Margaret Shiveley, Nancy Johnson, Wilford Roose, S. E. Marsh 
and Orlando Henry. Just one year after the dedication of the first church, 
this society suffered a great misfortune. Their new church was burned to 
the ground. Tt is thought the (ire caught from the chimney, but they kept 
up their brave spirit and again decided to build. This was a frame building, 
and was completed in the. spring of 1903, at a cost of $1,500. Since the 
organization of this church it was divided, and another church started at 
Vestaburg; but despite this fact it has a membership of forty-eight. George 
E. Stone is the present Elder; S. Bolinger and Carl Young also served this 


The United Brethren church of Vestaburg is situated in Richland town- 
ship on section 23. This society was organized in 1907 with fifteen charter 


members, and now their membership has just doubled. Samuel Bolinger, 
M. M. Bolinger and Joseph Robinson have been pastors of this church and 
have done much to keep the interest alive and to keep it going generally. 
The church is a neat little building of stone veneering, which was built in 
1907 at a cost of $1,000. 


St. Paul's Danish Lutheran church was organized at Greenville with 
Th. \ T . Jersild as the first pastor. R. Bennesen, and P. H. Miller have served 
since that time and W. C Nielsen is now the pastor. The church is now- 
supported by eighty members. A Young People's Society and a Ladies' Aid 
Society is conducted in connection with this church, as are also two Sunday- 
schools, Danish and English. The Danish Sunday school has been long- 
established, but the English was started but a short time ago and now has a 
membership of fifty. Both are steadily increasing. The church building is 
a brick structure, built about T875, and in tqit a fine basement, which affords 
many additional conveniences, was added to the church. 


Bethania Danish Evangelical Lutheran church was organized in , the 
Little Danish Settlement about 1878 and H. J. Petersen was the first pastor. 
This church is also in the Greenville circuit and is served by the Danish 
pastor at Greenville, W. C. Nielsen. In 1880, a frame structure was put up 
at a cost of $1,500, and this building is still used for church purposes. A 
Ladies' Aid Society is conducted with this church and the ladies meet once 
a month for this purpose. The church has a present membership of fifty. 
The following pastors have served this church: H. J. Petersen, N. Thomp- 
son. Th. Jersild, R. Benneseu and P. PL Miller. 


St. Thomas's Danish Evangelical Lutheran church was organized in 1879, 
with PL J. Petersen officiating as the first pastor. The first trustees were 
Lars Rasmussen, Carl Christensen and H. P. Larsen, and they also were the 
sole charter members. The first building was a wood structure but for vari- 
ous reasons most of the religious meetings were held in the school house. 
The present church was built in T892 at a cost of $4,000, and in 1909 it was 


enlarged considerably as it was found that their work could not be carried 
on as they wished in such limited quarters. The side additions built on are 
sixteen by twenty-six feet, and the main part of the church is twenty-six by 
fifty feet. In connection with this church is a Sunday school, a Women's 
Society. Young People's Society, and a Heathen Missionary Society. These 
societies are composed of earnest and untiring workers, and altogether pre- 
sent a very busy atmosphere. The church membership numbers two hun- 
dred and fifty. A list of pastors who have served the church up to the 
present time is as follow: IT. J. Petersen, N. Thomsen. R. Nielsen, H. C. 
Strandskov. Th. Jcrsild. F Soe, Mr. Borggaard. P. TT. Kjer. Chr. Petersen 
is the present pastor. 


St. Peter's Danish Kvangelical Lutheran church, which is located in 
Fairplain township, was organized in the year 1876. with H. J. Petersen as 
the first pastor. A frame building was built in 1877 at a cost of $600. and 
in connection is a shelter for the horses. The pastors who have served this 
church are as follow: H. j. Petersen. X. Thomsen, H. C. Strandskov, R. 
Nielsen, Th. \\ Jersild, R. Bennesen. P. IP Miller. \V. C. Nielsen is the 
present pastor. This church is in a circuit composed of Greenville, Little 
Danish Settlement, and Fairplain, and are all served by W. C. Nielsen, of 
Greenville. The present membership is fifty. 


This congregation was organized in Howard City on April 19, 1893, by 
G. Wendlandt, August Siebart, William Pittman and about ten others. These 
few members assumed the burden and responsibility of putting up a church 
and school building combined. A lot was purchased on the hill in the south 
part of the village, the edifice, erected and it was dedicated on July 2, 1893. 
The congregation grew rapidly and now numbers one hundred and ninety- 
five souls. The dedication was under the direction of Rev. F. W. Geffert. 
the local pastor at that time. Mr. Geffert left here on July 4. 1897, to go to 
Racd City, and was succeeded by Rev. TP IP Heidel. who came on August 
10 of the same year. 

In January. 1898, it was decided to build a parsonage. The work was 
undertaken at once and a very pretty parsonage was completed in November 
of the same year, the congregations at Turk Pake and in Cato township 


assisting in the furnishing of stone for the foundations. No aid from those 
outside the church was asked. 

Paul C. XoiTze served this congregation from 1903 to 1907 and then 
H. K. Norden took charge of the work. Reverend Norden now resides at 
Muskegon. '.I 'he present incumbent is Carl Otzman, who has had charge 
since 1909. The secular school of this church was maintained with approxi- 
mately thirty pupils for quite a number of years, but owing to the fact that 
many of the families of this congregation moved away, it was decided to 
abandon the daily school but the spirit of this enterprise was kept alive by 
meetings at regular intervals. Every two weeks an all-day meeting of the 
children is held. These meetings are classes held on Saturday and under 
the su]K'rvision of the minister. At present these meetings are attended 
by forty pupils. 

The Evangelical Lutheran Immanuel church of Howard City is very 
active; the membership at present is one hundred and ninty-rlve. The church 
and parsonage are kept in excellent repair. This society is free from debt 
and is prospering. 


Turk Lake was the first, congregation of this society organized in Mont- 
calm county. This church is located in Montcalm township and although 
served by the pastor of the Howard City Immanuel congregation it is the 
strongest society of this faith in the county. The history of this church, 
however, is closely connected with that of the Howard City church and has 
always been served as a charge from the latter congregation and can truly be 
classed along with the former church. As was previously mentioned, this is 
one of the strongest congregations of the county, having a membership at 
present of two hundred. 

There are two other societies of the German Evangelical Lutheran 
congregation in the county. One of these i c located in Cato township. 
There is no church building at present, but services are held in the school 
building of district Xo. 4. This sneietv has a membership at present of 
sixtv-five and in all probabilities will have a building in the course of the 
next few years. Greenville is the most recently organized society in the 
county. There are at present at the latter place thirty-five souls enrolled 
in this work. 



The German Evangelical Lutheran church of Maple Hill was founded 
somewhere back in 1885, Rev. W. Bauer of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod 
of Missouri, being the first pastor in charge. He was succeeded in 1888 by 
Reverend G renter, of the Evangelical Synod, of North America. The church 
was struck by lightning and burned in 1889 and was rebuilt in that same 

In 1 891 Rev. H. Greuter resigned, and the congregation called as pastor, 
Rev. E. W. Geffett, of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri, who 
then took charge oi the congregation in 1891. In 1894 some difficulties 
arose about the moving of the church building (which was then some two 
and one-half miles southeast of Howard City) into Howard City. Those 
of the congregation living in town were in favor, together with their pastor, 
of moving the church to town; those living in the country were opposed. 
This caused separation ; the church remained out in the country and the Ger- 
mans of Howard City remained in town. 

Then 1894 Rev. H. Schaarschmidt of the German Evangelical Synod 
of North America, took charge of the congregation in the country. He was 
succeeded in August, 1895, D y ^ ev - ^- Krueger. In that year the church 
was incorporated. Rev. Krueger resigned in 1898 and was succeeded by 
Rev. E. Brenion, who stayed until August, 1900. 

On the night of June (2, T902. during an electrical storm, the church 
was again struck by lightning and burned to the ground. As soon as pos- 
sible after the destruction of this church, the congregation set about to erect 
another building. They were successful in this end and in August work- 
was begun on the edifice. This was dedicated in 1902 and was materialized 
through the effort of Reverend Saffron. This congregation has not l>een 
as strong in the last few years as formerly owing to the fact that other 
church buildings have been erected in the vicinity which proved a greater 
accommodation and less distance to travel for the worshippers. At present 
this church is supported by six families. 


The exact day of the organization of the Amble Evangelical Associa- 
tion cannot be determined. It is known that a smaller body was organized, 
although not with a permanent organization, many years prior to the organ- 


ization of the church. These meetings were held in the school houses and 
at private residences. This congregation has always been served by t he- 
pastor at Maple Hill and the history of this congregation is closely connected 
with the St. Peter's church. At present the membership of this church 
numbers twenty families. 


The Seventh-Day Adventist church was organized on July 3, 1879, 
with the following charter members : Francis Xelson, Anna E. Nelson, 
Whitman Flail, Samira Nickols. Charlotte Webster, Elvira Webster, Herbert 
Castle, Eliza Castle, Alary A. Morey. William S. Xelson, Harriet Nelson, 
Andrew Fierce. Mary Fierce and Myrel Fierce. Elder Francis Nelson was 
the first minister to serve the church, but they have no resident elder. The 
membership has increased to one hundred and forty-one. A Sabbath school 
and a Young People's Society, consisting of two hundred and thirty-four 
members, is conducted under the auspices of the church. The organization 
of this church is in harmony with the teachings of the Bible enjoining the 
validity of the Ten Commandments, the fourth of which teaches the observ- 
ance of the seventh day as the Sabbath. Besides the teaching of the observ- 
ance of the seventh day Sabbath, the church teaches and practices health 
reforms, and are strictly temperate. They believe in the coming of Christ, 
a resurrection of the dead, and a reward of eternal life for the faithful; a 
total destruction of the wicked, not by eternal lire or everlasting punishment, 
but bv complete and total annihilation. 


The earliest services which led to the formation of a Roman Catholic 
society in Greenville occurred in J 859, when meetings were held at the house 
of Patrick McDonald. They were conducted by Father Rivers, of Gratton. 
who officiated at intervals for a period of three years, and then moved to 
Muskegon where he died in 1878. He was then followed by Rev. Charles 
Bolte, of Ionia, who organized the present Catholic church of Greenville, 
with the following people as charter members : Patrick McDonald, Mrs. W. 
Deary, John Norton and Bernard Wiegers. At first it was a mission attended 
mostly from Carson City. The first church building, which was located in 
Eureka township, was a frame structure which was torn down in 19 13, and 
the congregation bought a lot in the city of Greenville. A beautiful new 


church has just been completed which is constructed out of stone and brick 
at a cost of $35,000. Several pastors have served this church as follows: 
.Rev. Father Leitner, Seybold, Crumbly, Irmary, Brogyer, Caldwell, Govsen, 
Whalen and C. F. Bolte. Beginning- with only five members the church has 
now reached a membership of two hundred fifty. 


St. Appolinia's church of Stanton was organized by C F. Bolte, then 
of Ionia, with the following charter members: J. Blaine and family, the 
Crawe family, the i'. Davust family and the R. Evans family. After C. F. 
Bolte had served his time came Rev. Fierle. of Ionia, and then Father Sey- 
bold. J. XI. Stettes. J. A. Fngelnian, Joseph Y T oyle, Bernard Kethusom, then 
came Reverend Abel in 1906. During his regime the mission was handed 
over to R. Whalen, of Carson City (September 3, 1910). The year fol- 
lowing the church was remodeled by Father Whalen. It is a frame build- 
ing which was constructed in the year t88o. The total membership is one 
hundred. On January 1, 1914, the Stanton mission was handed over to 
Rev. Charles Bolte. of Greenville, under whose charge it has remained since 
that time. 

st. mary's ciniRCH of c arson city. 

St. Mary's parish of Carson City. Montcalm county, Michigan, was 
organized in 1896 for the Catholic members living north of the Ionia county 
line, who had to that time worshipped in St. John's church at Hubbardston. 
The task of forming the new parish was entrusted to Rev. K. J. Whalen, who 
held his first service in the "opera rink," February 9. 1896. The member- 
ship was small, numbering about fifty families, mostly poor and, owing to 
the financial stress of the year, hard pressed even to live. Despite all the 
hindering circumstances, the members of the newly formed parish and their 
friends in the community started with the determination to succeed in build- 
ing up a new church plant of which they would in time be proud. 

A hall was rented and changed into a neat chapel and served as a place 
of worship until Christmas, 1896. The next move was to build a church. 
Material was secured, ground broken and the corner stone laid amidst a great 
concourse of people the following June. After a rest of a few months, the 
brick work of the church began, October 16, and was pressed so that the 
beautiful church was opened for first service Christmas morning, 1896. 


Later the int-erior was finished, the tower erected, and all put in the best of 
order, furnished to the last dollar's worth that might find fitting place. 

The next move of the parish was to build a large, well-ordered, brick 
parish house in 1898. These buildings were followed by a brick barn and 
stables for teams. In 1905 a second block just east of the church property 
was secured and in 1907 St. Mary's brick academy was built and opened 
as a parish school under the direction of the Sisters of St. Dominic, of 
Grand Rapids. The school was placed in charge of Sister M. Berchmans, 
assisted by Sister M. Tearentia, now dead, names that shall never die in St. 
Mary's parish. Tn 1906 a tower clock was placed in St. Mary's church by 
the citizens with the only automatic angelus connection in the state of 

This completed the church buildings and placed in Carson City one of 
the grandest church plants found in a Catholic parish in Michigan. While 
in charge of Carson City parish, "Rev. Fr. Whalen cared for all Catholics 
west as far as Rock ford and Howard City, northeast to Alma, southeast to 
Flsie and south to the Tonia county line, giving him the care of all Catholics 
in fifteen hundred square miles. 'During the eighteen years in Carson City. 
he also builded, and builded well, in Greenville, Harvard, Maple Valley and 
Stanton, preparing Greenville and Maple Valley for resident pastors. Fr. 
Whalen was transferred to St. Joseph's, Saginaw, January, 1914, and was 
succeeded by Rev. J. J. Sheehan, the present pastor. 


By Kev. Ole Amble. 

Little Denmark Danish Lutheran congregation in Montcalm county 
was organized on April 21, 1873, and this came about through the efforts 
of Hans Christensen, Christian Anderson, Hans H. Nielson, Jens Christen- 
sen and Jens Jensen, Jens Jensen alone surviving of the original organiza- 
tion. There was no church building at that early date, and now four 
churches have church buildings. P>ig settlement, two miles north of Gowen ; 
Little settlement, two and one-halt miles east of Gowen; North Sidney, one 
mile west and one mile north of Sidney station, and South Sidney, two 
miles south and two and one-half west of Sidney station. Besides these 
churches one other is rented in Trufant. So there are services of this 
denomination in Kendallville settlement school house in Pine township. And 
also in Bernen, which is two miles north and one-half mile east of Langston. 

The whole congregation is divided into the above number of meeting 
places, and includes one thousand souls in Montcalm county. 


The congregation owns a parsonage in Gowen, as the pastor lives in 
that place. The following is an article taken from the Greenville Indepen- 
dent of April 29, 19 14, and the occasion was the fortieth anniversary of 
services of the Rev. Ole Amble, of Gowen, which was held on May 20, 1914. 

"Gowen, the pleasant little hamlet, located six miles north of Green- 
ville, has the honor of being the boyhood home of Lieutenant Worden, who 
is known in history as the commander of the "Monitor" in the Civil War, 
famous for its fight with the rebel ram, "Merrimac." Tn fact, rumor says 
that Lieutenant Worden was born in Gowen, but this cannot be confirmed. 
His father, Frederick Worden, came to Gowen on June 19, 1844, entering 
the south half of the southeast quarter of section i8, upon which the hamlet 
of Gowen now stands. 

"On August 26. 1844. Mr. Worden sold an interest in the water privi- 



leges to Volney and Thomas Belding", members of the famous family of 
pioneer silk manufacturers of the city of Fielding. This company erected a 
saw-mill but disposed of their interests a few years later. 

"It is claimed that many years later Gowen had an opportunity of 
becoming the silk city of Michigan, as the Belding Brothers tried to nego- 
tiate for water power and land on which to erect their big factories, but 
were frustrated in their attempt by one of the principal land owners of the 
little hamlet. The saw-mill erected back in the forties by the Belding Broth- 
ers and Mr. Wordeu was later owned by James Gowen. also an early settler, 
after whom the hamlet was named. 

"At the present time Gowen and vicinity is thickly populated with the 
Danish people, who started coming to this county in 1856, the pioneers in 
this immigration being Air. and Airs. August Rasmussen and Christian John- 
son, who all came, from the same little village in Denmark. Tn fact, Mr. 
Johnson, who was a veteran of the Danish and Dutch War of 1849, came 
to Montcalm county in 1853 or 1854. Mr. Johnson was one of the six 
Danish residents to answer Abraham Lincoln's call for volunteers at the 
opening of the Civil War, and he was killed in the first battle he took part in. 
His bodv lies in an unknown grave in the southland now. 

"Prior to 1857 there were four Danish people at Gowen, Air. and Mrs. 
Rasmussen, Air. Johnson, and a young man by the name of John Peterson, 
who was working in the saw-mill, at that time called Gregory's mill, and 
which stood on the present site of the Gowen depot. On the loth of 
August. 1857, owing to the representations of Air. Rasmussen, fortv Danes 
arrived, including Air. Rasmussen's aged mother and Air. Johnson's aged 
father. Thirty-six of this number were relatives and the meeting, after over 
a year's separation, seemed like a family reunion." 


The following account of the journey from Denmark to Gowen is 
taken from the Greenville Independent, of the winter of T902, and was 
written by Mr. Rasmussen : 

"In two hours' drive we had reached Slagelse. our first railroad station. 
Here my brother said. T.f God will, and we live, we will see each other in 
America next year.' At last farewell. The train moved and we were soon 
at the station in Korsor. From there we went on the first steamboat to Keel, 
•one night's voyage. May nth we reached Altoona. Here I had served six- 


teen months as a soldier, and I was well acquainted. I visited my old 
beloved Captain Bcemand. and many others. 

"May i/^ we left Hamburg (Germany). After fifty-four hours we 
were across the North Sea. reached IJool (England). The black horse 
quickly brought us across England. May 1.6 we reached Liverpool. 

"May 22 we embarked on a great sailship, where he had our home for 
nearly eight weeks. Here we learned to eat salt meat and hard biscuit, if 
we had not learned it before. It was a small kitchen we had for a large 
crowd. It was a full day's work for three hundred people to cook their own 
food in a kitchen room ten by sixteen feet and get only half enough to eat. 
We had fog, storm and headwind most of the time of our voyage. Some- 
times we had the sun on our left, sometimes on the right side, which meant 
zag work' or halt. We saw a whale about forty feet long and a sea serpent 
of about the same length. .Many were very seasick. One boy died and was 
buried in the ocean. And one baby was born; he was named Atlantic 
Storm, because he was born on a dreadful stormy day. 

"The 1 6th of July we took on board a pilot, and July iy we drew into 
Xew York harbor. Oh, how glad we were to set our foot on the solid and 
new land. In Castle Garden our satchel, with our most valuable belongings, 
such as hymn book, bible and other good books, was stolen. We were glad 
to get away from this great building where immigrants landed, and hence 
were distributed throughout the United States. We reached the wonderful 
Niagara Falls on July iq. FJere we made a short stop of four hours. We 
continued westward the same afternoon. July 20, at two o'clock in the 
afternoon, we boarded an immigrant train and started for Kalamazoo. The 
passage required four days. This was the worst of our journey — smoke, 
dust and vermin, from which it was impossible to escape. 

"July 24. at eight o'clock in the morning, we reached Kalamazoo, which 
was the railroad station nearest Greenville, in those days. We took a stage 
to Greenville. We reached the home of Mr. Osgood, a farmer in Oakfield. 
July 26, at two o'clock in the afternoon. Here our coachman took a leaf 
from his notebook, in which he traced the route we should take through 
Wolverton Plains. Then we separated from him and at six o'clock at 
night reached Christian Johnson's shanty, three years after T had taken his 
address in Denmark.'' 

Following the years 1856 and 1857. the Danish people have come to 
Michigan in train loads, until there are now several thousand Danes in 




Montcalm county, to say nothing of the counties farther north. In fact, in 
this county the Danish people are said to hold the balance of power. 

The Danish people are thrifty and law abiding. The Danish language 
is still die mother tongue and is spoken by the majority of the older people. 
The Danish-Americans have held township and county offices. They are 
graduate* of high schools, colleges, universities and business colleges. They 
will be found in every walk of life. The descendants of the early Danish 
settlers may he found in every pari of the United States and they number 
preachers, lawyers, bankers and men of every profession. They are the 
backbone of Montcalm county, and all honor to the last surviving members 
of those bands of hardy pioneers, who carved homes and modest fortunes 
out of the wilderness. 


The majority of the Danish people are members of the Lutheran faith, 
and their spiritual needs are looked after by Rev. Ole Amble, who resides 
in (iowen, and who preaches in seven different localities — Little Dane Settle- 
ment, P>ig Dane Settlement, Trufant, South Sidney, North Sidney. Kendall- 
ville and the. Look school house. To the Danish people, Ole Amble is not 
only pastor, but teacher, lawyer, doctor, father and general friend. The 
Independent article continued : 

"1 will never forget my visit to Reverend Amble's home. Arriving in 
(iowen I was directed up the railroad tracks to a large, two-story white 
house. On the north side there was a storm house, and 1 could not help but 
observe, as I knocked timidly at the door, that there were all of six pairs of 
rubbers sitting patiently in the storm house waiting for a rainy day. A gruff 
voice told me to come in. I did so. but found myself in a small hall, a door 
leading into what was apparently a downstairs living room, and stairs lead- 
ing to the second story. 

'Tt was a question as to whether T should make a break into what ought 
to be the right room downstairs or to blunder upstairs and be mistaken for a 
second story worker. Suddenly 1 heard a noise upstairs and quickly glanced 
up. A kindly young-old face was gazing down at me. I started up the 
stairs, asking at the same time if this was Reverend Amble. 

"The owner of the young-old face assured me it was, and asked n e 
point blank what I wanted. Much in the manner of a thirteen-year-old 
school boy J informed him that I wanted to meet him. and then, as an after- 
thought, introduced mvself. 


"I was invited into the den, which consists of an upstairs room devoid 
of carpets and completely filled with books and newspapers. A desk stood 
in one corner and there Reverend Amble sat down, indicating any one of the 
three or four chairs in other parts of the room. Papers upon papers and 
hooks upon books, pipes and cigars, tables, chairs and chests and drawers, 
ft is there that this leader of the Danish people manufactures his sermons, 
it is there he listens to the tales of troubles told him by the members of his 
congregation ; it is there he thinks and there he reads. 

"Forty years ago the 20th of May, Reverend Amble came to this coun- 
try, and the fact that today he is stronger entrenched in the hearts of the 
Danish people than at any time in the past, is but a faint proof of the 
esteem and veneration in which he is held by the people. 

"On May 20 there will be held at the Grange hall in Greenville a union 
meeting of all the members of Reverend Amble's congregations, who will 
observe the fortieth anniversary of his arrival at Gowen. An excellent pro- 
gram is being arranged, and after the services a dinner will be given for the 
enjoyment of those present. 

"Reverend Amble has one of the largest parishes in the United States, 
and his personal influence covers the entire country. He came to Gowen 
on May 20. 1874, and has remained ever since. For the past twenty years 
he has taken his meals every day with Mr. and Mrs. R. A. Swan. Every- 
body knows where his house is. It is a refuge to many. Tn all six hundred 
and twenty-six couples have been married by this veteran minister since his 
coming to Gowen. Fie is the general adviser for the Danish people, and has 
ministered to them for forty years. 

"Reverend Amble is a Norwegian by birth. Tie was born on July 28, 
1847, in Norway, coming to the United States in May, 1871. three years 
before his coming to Gowen. fie went to Madison, Wisconsin, then to 
Marshall, Wisconsin, graduated from the Angsbury Theological Seminary. 
He was ordained a minister on June 11. 1872. and had his first charge in 
Allamakee county, Iowa, in the Norwegian Lutheran church. Reverend 
Amble is a friend to everybody, and everybody is his friend. He is a deputy 
count}' clerk, a position he has held for years. He issues his own marriage 
licenses and then marries the couples. 'In my forty years of service/ 
remarked Reverend Amble, 'I have had occasion to confirm children, later 
grant them marriage licenses and marry them, confirm their children and 
officiate at their funeral.' 

" 'Am I against the tango ? Really I know nothing about it. I am no 


Pope, that I should dictate to my people what they should 'do and what they 
shouldn't. Now, another thing. I have been written about a number of times 
and it isn't necessary to say much about me,' continued this pioneer preacher. 
'Xow be sure and say just as little as you can, for everybody knows rne 
any way.' 

"Somehow I found my way out of that wonderful 'den,' full of awe 
and respect for the Grand Old Man of the Danish people, the man who 
came from far-away Norway and has given his whole life to the betterment 
of the Danish people. A man full of indomitable courage, who could have 
reached the top rung of the ladder in anything he might have undertaken." 


It is claimed that Gowen may be the site of one of the Commonwealth 
Power Company's dams in the near future. This story goes that, if the 
Muskegon to Saginaw interurban project goes through, the big power com- 
pany will build a dam at Gowen and furnish the "juice" for the electric 
cars, both ways from Trufant. 

V. Thomsen & Company is one of the veteran business firms of this 
little village. A. H. Thomsen. a son, also formerly conducted a general store 
in Trufant. A full line of agricultural implements is also carried. 

H. Paulsen, the proprietor of the other general store, is also proprietor 
■of the hotel. Mr. Paulsen has erected a line brick block for both his hotel 
and store, which would be a credit to towns many times the size of Gowen. 

Dr. C. II. Lozar, who came to Gowen two years ago from Coleman, 
-owns the drug store and is the only practicing physician in the place. 

The postoffice is ably looked after by Spencer McClellan, who received 
his commission on November t, 1904, and is still on the job. There is 
one rural route from Gowen, although there is strong agitation for a second 
route, reaching west of the village. 

Gowen is important as a potato market. There are four buyers, all of 
whom represent Greenville firms. Better roads around Gowen would do 
much to advance the market features. 

Gowen is also the home of Oscar A. Rasmussen, who is fast becoming 
noted in this part of the country as an auctioneer. Mr. Rasmussen, not onlv 
attends to his farming interests, but buys potatoes, grains, etc., and does a 
big auction business. Mr. Rasmussen has a pleasing personality and is 
extremely popular with the Danish people. 

Gowen is also noted for its ball team. The Gowen baseball team has 


always occupied a prominent place in the sporting world of this county. 
Strictly "home-grown" material, the memhers have developed wonderful 
team work and are feared hy all of the other smaller towns of this section. 
A. E. Paulsen, manager, and Clyde Emmons, captain. The manager of the 
team claimed, without smiling a particle, that he had a pitcher who could 
throw some of the most wonderful curves in the country, curves that would 
fairly wind themselves around the latter's neck. 

Gowen has an eight-grade school, under the supervision of Occie Niel- 
sen, which is one of the best of its size in the country. 

Also last, hut not least, what is known as Swan's hotel, must not be 
overlooked. This is the private residence of Air. and Mrs. R. A. Swan, 
well known in Greenville, where Airs. Swan conducts a sort of restaurant 
or hotel. 

The Danish population was first started around Gowen and came in the 
largest number on August jo, 1H57. fifty-eight years ago in the fall of 1915. 
l»ut the Danish population has spread all over the country. They are, as a 
general rule, industrious and hard-working, and do not bother the judge. 
Very few have ever been within the clutches of the law. They are indus- 
trious, intelligent and God-loving race of people. 

The younger classes of Danes — as there are at present the third and 
fourth generation in this country — are very eager to learn and, therefore, 
are found among them lawyers, doctors, veterinarians, attorneys, dentists 
and lots of telegraph operators and numberless quantities of school teachers 
both among the men and women. They cannot be excelled in their farming, 
their home life and in the general good they do to the community. 


Article from Greenville Daily Call. May 21, 1914, on the celebration 
and in honor of the faithful services of Rev. Ole Amble, who for forty 
years has been pastor of the church of Gowen: 

"A wist number oi Danish citizens had a gala day in this city yesterday, 
when they gathered from all parts of the county to celebrate the fortieth 
anniversary of Rev. Ole Amble's coming to this county to take charge of the 
Danish Lutheran church at Gowen. The center of attraction for the gather- 
ing of the Danish and American people was the Grange hall, which was 
beautifully decorated with Hags, boxes of plants and flowers. 

"There were twelve tables, capable of seating from forty to fifty ban- 
queters, each piled up with good things to eat, and the five hundred and 


sixty-four who sat down to the banquet were well waited upon by the hand- 
some waitresses. During the banquet music on the piano was ably executed 
by Hazel Xielsen, previous to which Rev. St. Clare Parsons offered prayer. 

"After the banquet, L. Wells Sprague, who had been selected as toast- 
master, called upon William P>. Wells, editor of the Daily Call, to make a 
few remarks, lie told of the long acquaintance he had had with Rev. Ole 
Amble, extending for forty years, and of the repeated notices in the col- 
umns of the Call he had made of the reverend gentleman's good work as 
the years rolled by. He also called attention to the indefatigable work of 
Pastor Ole Amble, who. from being the pastor of a small church with few- 
members, finally had started six churches in the county, all prosperous and 
under his supervision. He spoke of the Rev. Ole Amble's Christian charac- 
ter, which was above reproach, and likened him to a man who walked hand 
in hand with God his bather. He had only one thing against the good man, 
and that was his refusal to get married, and finished by leaving this act of 
disobedience in the hands of the ladies. 

"An address, in the Danish language, was given by Rev. P. Rasmus- 
sen, which we were unable to report, as we do not understand the Danish 
language; but one thing he does know, that it was effective, for the tears 
rolled down the faces of a large number of the men and women listening to 

"The next was an address of Miss Media Thomsen, who eloquently 
told of the work of Mr. Amble, and finished by reciting a poem. 

"C. P. Rarden complimented Mr. Amble and congratulated him upon 
having so fine a following and the love of them all. He spoke of the rev- 
erend gentleman's opposition to divorce and how he always refused to per- 
form the nirirriage ceremony over divorced people. Tie also told of having 
only two divorces to obtain for the Danish people who had been married bv 
Mr. Amble, which was a great record out of over six hundred couples made 
man and wife. 

"Mr. C. j. Rasmusscn, who came to this country fifty-seven years ago. 
was called upon for a few remarks, which he gave in the Danish and Kng- 
lish language, finally winding up by presenting Reverend Amble with a purse 
containing $500 in gold as a mark of affection of all of the people and his 
members who love and honor their worthy pastor. 

"Then the recipient thanked his people and his friends for their remem- 
brance and the meeting was brought to an end by the benediction, by Rev. 
St. Clare Parsons. Between the speeches the choir of Mr. Amble's chief 
church sang many selections. 


"The committee, Walter, C. C. Larke, Ivan Nielsen, N. Rosendal 
and Air Peterson, and the ladies, feel proud of the successful ending of the 
celebration of the aniversary. Avhich went off without a hitch." 

Besides all the other work done by the Rev. Ole Amble, especially preach- 
ing at various places, he christens each year an average of fifty children, 
confirms twenty-five and preaches twenty-five funerals. Altogether, Air. 
Amble has performed six hundred and twenty-six marriage ceremonies since 
coming to Gowen. 




Carson City Lodge Xo. 306. I ; ree and Accepted Masons, was chartered 
on January 11, 1872. with J. \V. Champlin. grand master, and Henry Cham- 
berlain, senior grand warden. Martin Miner was worshipful master; \V. S. 
Everest, senior warden, and E. II. Willsey. junior warden. The first pre- 
liminary meeting was held at Carson City on April <S, T871. Present at this 
meeting were: Martin J. Miner, William S. Everest, David Stackhouse, 
John Savage, Daniel II. Sinkey. Lewis Willsey, Charles R. Dickinson, Win- 
field S. Miner. James M. 1 'roctor, Augustus (). Burnham, Charles Annis, 
Ezra Hayes, Henry P. Miller. D. C. Sebring and Charles Ambrook. At 
that meeting sixty-two dollars was subscribed to meet preliminary expenses. 
A committee, consisting of II. P. Miller. L. Willsey and Charles A. Brook, 
was appointed to effect an organization of a lodge. The following were 
recommended as officers of the lodge: Martin J. Miner, worshipful mas- 
ter; W. S. Everest, senior warden: E II. Willsev. junior warden; Charles 
Ambrook. secretary; II. P. .Miller, treasurer; Charles Annis, senior deacon; 
John Savage, junior deacon: Perry Patton. tyler; Charles Proctor and I). M. 
Sinkey, stewards; and Ezra Hayes, chaplain. The brethren mentioned in 
the dispensation to constitute the new lodge were Martin J. Miner, \Y. T r ,. 
Everest. Lewis \\\ Wilsct. W. S. Miner, Daniel H. Sinkey. J. H. Savage, 
James M. Proctor, Perry Patton. Henry P. Miller, Hiram Poop, Charles 
Ambrook. Aaron Cyon. T. W. handier and J. D. Bower, whose names were 
presented to the lodge on Xovember r. 1871. 

The officers for 1015 are: Erank II. Miner, worshipful master; Roy 
IT. McDougall, senior warden: John X. Brice. junior warden: Andrew B. 
Goodwin, secretary; Charles E. Dickinson, treasurer; Erank X". Gunther. 
senior deacon: Chester R. Culver, junior deacon; John White, tvler. The 
past masters of the lodge are: Charles Ambrook, James Proctor, George 
R. Gibbs, Hiram Roop, Lewis H. Willsey, James Aldrich, Martin T. Miner, 


George H. Cagwin, Fred Orth, George M. Jones, J. Philo Taylor. Francis 
S. Caswell, Edward D. Lyon, Stanley P. Coleman and Frank FT. Miner. 
The present membership of the lodge is ninety-one. 


Carson City Chapter No. 271, Order of the Eastern Star, was granted 
a charter on October n. 1900. to the following people, who were the charter 
member^ : John G. Andreson. Bertha Andreson. Arthur L. Bemis, Sada M. 
Bonis, Marv 1 '. Caswell, Fmma Caswell, Francis S. Caswell, Charles R. 
Culver. F/.ra U. Flint. Mary Flint, Ruth Mint, Clara, Ferris, Lizzie Ferris, 
Minnie bowler, George M. Jones, Clara Jones, Mattie B. Jones, Mary [. 
Knickerbocker, Nina L. Knickerbocker, Morris Xetzorg, Lena Xetzorg, J. 
Philo Taylor, Victoria E. Wilkinson, Emma Halett, B. Frank Sweet, Emma 
Sweet, Louise Shaw and Edna Smith. The past worthy matrons are Bertha 
Andreson, Ruth Flint, Clidc Case and Emily Taylor. Fast worthv patrons 
are: Morris Xetzorg. Jay A. Lovett. J. Fhilo Taylor, Francis X. Culver, 
Francis S. Caswell and Ldward D. Lyon. 

The officers for 1915 are: Emily Taylor, worthy matron; E. D. Lyon, 
worthy patron: Glide Case, associate matron: Flora D. White, secretary; 
Charles F. Dickinson, treasurer; Minnie M. Fowler, conductress; Susan Wat- 
ers, associate conductress; Belle Dickinson, Ada; Linda Brice, Ruth; Vee 
Culver, Esther: Fannie Wright, Electa; Phrona Rice, warden; Elizabeth 
Culver, chaplain. Present membership is ninety-one. 


Howard City Lodge No. 329, Free and Accepted Masons, was granted 
a dispensation on November in, 1874, under the grand lodge of Michigan, 
and regular meetings were held the ensuing year, the grand lodge of the 
slate, at its annual communication in 1875, continuing the dispensation in 
force for another year. The charter members and first officers were as 
follow: David TL Lord, worshipful master; Albert P. Thomas, senior 
warden; F'benezer Wright, junior warden; Hannibal G. Coburn, treasurer; 
Lewis W. Wilbur, secretary; William TL Lovely, Richard H. O'Donald. 
Royal C. Quick. Joseph T. Tones, Wallace, Skntt, Fred A. Baldwin and 
Morris E, Keith. 

The grand lodge, at its annual communication in \8y6, granted a char- 
ter, the one in effect since, being No. 329. The first meetings were held in a 


lodge room known as Odd Fellows hall, located in the Lord block in the 
village of Howard Citv, and this practice continued until the destruction of 
the building bv fire on the night of January 1, 1884. The major portion of 
the lodge's records and effects was destroyed. But one meeting was held in 
1884 on account of there being no place to meet. This meeting was the 
annual one held the following December in the Masonic hall, ever since 
occupied by the lodge, located in the Knapp & Thomas block. 

The first banquet held by the lodge was in December. 1878, at Coburn's 
Fxchange hotel. This function was interrupted by a serious lire in a neigh- 
boring business block, 'the brothers rallying to the call for help and succeed- 
ing in quenching the dames, then returning at a late hour to their merry- 
making. Subsequent banquets were successfully conducted on January 12, 
180,1 ; January T4. 1803; December 17. T894; December 12, 1895: December 
1, 1896. The attendance at these affairs has grown from forty-two to two 
hundred, showing to some degree the growth in numbers and influence of 
the lodge. 

The present membership of the lodge, is two hundred, and the present 
officers are: 11. .M. Gibbs, worshipful master; R. S. Jennings, senior warden; 
\Y. J. Rushmore, junior warden; Arie M. Cook, treasurer; A. F. Fugleman, 
secretary; F. Witmcr, senior deacon; J. P>. TTaskins, junior deacon; L. W. 
Greene and John A. 1'aly, stewards; George M. Doty, tyler. 


Six Cakes Lodge Xo. 454. Free and Accepted Masons, was organized 
on October 5, 1908. The first meeting was held under dispensation from 
the grand lodge, and l'ercival F. Townsend was the first candidate for 
initiation-. TTe was initiated on November 2. tqo8, and raised to the sublime 
degree of a master Mason on December 21, 1908. The charter members 
were: George S. Townsend, William A. Wood, Lucius M. Miel, William 
C. Westley. Jacob V Fox, Angus H. McDonald. Robert Simpkins, Aaron 
K. Ilolben. Roswell Fleck. Henry Gibbs and John S. lonis. The first officers 
were: William C. Westley. worshipful master; Roswell Fleck, senior war- 
den; J. V. Fox, junior warden; G. S. Townsend, secretary; William A. 
Wood, treasurer; Angus TL McDonald, senior deacon: Henry J. Gibbs. jun- 
ior deacon; John S. Jones, tyler. 

This lodge has had quite a rapid growth, having at the end of a few- 
years, a membership of forty-four. The present officers are: A. K. 
Fdgerby, worshipful master: Ward Gibbs. senior warden; T. Masson, junior 


warden: R. Simpkins, treasurer; (i. S. Townscnd, secretary; R. Fleck, senior 
deacon; Fred Crodc, junior deacon; A. K. Ilolben, tyler. 


Six Fakes Chapter Xo. 417. Order of the Eastern Star, was organized 
on April 22, iot.|. This chapter was installed by Worthy Grand Patron 
George F. Ellis, who was assisted by Martha Williams, of Grand Rapids. 
Following is a list of the charter members: Ida M. Wood, G. Emmett Cor- 
nell. Laura Townseud. Robert Simkins, Anna Simkins, Dorothy Simkins, 
Henry Gibbs. Sarah Gibbs. Aaron Ilolben, Jessie Holben. Jacob Fox, Delia 
box, Lillian Cornell, Sarah Corlis, Kate Wood, Hazel Sweaney, William 
Schade. Laura Schade, Alton McCracken. Lottie McCrackcn, Emile Lake, 
Minn Lake. 1 Jessie Fisher. Roswell Fleck, Cora Mauterstock, Tressa Mauter- 
stock, Xora Musson, Thomas Musson, Alexander Brown, Mercy Brown 
The officers elected to serve the new lodge were: Ida M. Wood, worthy 
mation: G. E. Cornell, worth} - patron: Laura Townsend, associate matron: 
Lottie McCracken, treasurer: Anna Simkins. secretary; Lillian Cornell, con- 
ductress: Laura Schade, associate conductress: Delia Fox, warden; Tressa 
Mauterstock. Ada: Dorothy I'aulson. Ruth; Hazel Sweaney, Esther; Kate 
Wood. Martha; Xora Musson, Electa; Bessie Fisher, marshal: Alton Mc- 
Craken, chaplain; Cora Mauterstock. organist; William Schade, sentinel. 

This chapter is a very lively one, having attained a membership of 
fortv-live in a little over a year. The present officers are: Lottie Mc- 
Cracken. worthy matron: Alton McCracken. worthy patron: Kate Wood, 
associate matron: Bertha Byrns. secretary; Anna Simkins. treasurer; Bessie 
Fisher, conductress: Laura Schade, associate conductress: Thomas Musson, 
chaplain: Dorothy Paulson, marshal; Tressa Mauterstock, Ada; Lillian Cor- 
nell. Ruth; Hazel Sweaney. Esther; Kate Gibbs, Martha; Mary Berry, 
Electa: Edith Byrns, warden; \Vanl Gibbs, sentinel. 


Edmore Lodge Xo. 360. Free and Accepted Masons, dates its begin- 
ning from January 4, 1883. It was installed by William White, of Lake- 
view, with only a few members, but it has been on the gain all the time, and 
now has a membership of one hundred and two. The few people who 
launched this new enterprise and helped to make it a success were : Edwin 
Grcsvenor, who was elected worshipful master: Williard A. Coon, senior 


warden; Edwin P>. Moore, junior warden; Edgar S. Wagar, secretary; 
Theadon K. Carmer. Alonzo M. Wolaver, Fred R. Sherwood and Williard 
W. Low. 

The people who now have the vital interests of this lodge in hand are: 
T. E. Crane, worshipful master; J. IT. Gihhs, Jr., senior warden; P>. C. 
Wilson, junior warden: M. E. Wagar, treasurer; H. P. Beebe, secretary: 
II. G. Cronkhite, senior deacon: Albert Otto, junior deacon; Charles M. 
White, tylcr. 


Edmore Chapter Xo. t r 1 , Order of the Eastern Star, was organized 
011 October u.. i8<U- They were fortunate in having a large number of 
members from the beginning. They were as follow: E. TT. Geiger, Maggie 
Geiger. W. J. Wilson, Amy Wilson. O. P>. M organ, Abbie Morgan, L. S. 
Crotser. Delia Crotser, W. G. Wisner. Anna Wisner, George G. Pur])le, 
Man Purple. H. Sackett. I'ersena Sackett. A. E. Skarritt. Ada Skarritt, 
T. II. Sanderson, Xettie Holmes. Rose A. Landon. A. N. Demoray, Lucy 
Demoray. L. II. Gibbs. Julia Gibbs, W. J. Mosgrove. TTattie Mosgrove. G. 
W. McKce, Matilda McKee. The chapter was installed by Allan S. Wright, 
worthy grand patron, and the first to be elected to the various offices were: 
Maggie Geiger. worthy matron; W. J. Wilson, worthy patron; Abbie .Mor- 
gan, associate matron: Anna Wisner, conductress; Delia Crotser. associate 
conductress; J. W. Sanderson, secretary; H. Sackett, treasurer. 

They have a present membership of one hundred thirty and their num- 
ber is constantly increasing. The present officers are: Grace Rupert, worthy 
matron; P. C. Wilson, worthy patron; Rose Swift, associate matron; Helma 
Harrison, associate conductress: Clara ] 'union, conductress: Marion Curtis, 
treasurer; Matilda Edgerley, secretary. 

II'.ARL I.AKI-: T.ODGK NO. 324. 

Pearl Lake Lodge Xo. 32.1, Pree and Accepted Masons, at Sheridan, 
was organized on January 27, 1875. and installed by Grand Master William 
L. Webber. A charter was granted to the following members: Palmer H. 
Taylor, John Mclnvaine. Robert W. Barkham, John S. Manning. George 
R. Taylor, George A. Stanton, John A. Westbrook, Horatio W. Sanborn, 
Sylvester Arntz, O. D. Clark, James A. Marsh and Seneca Slyter. The first 
officers to serve this lodge were: Palmer H. Taylor, worshipful master; 
John Mclnvaine; senior warden, Robert W. Barkham; junior warden, Jos- 


eph \Y. Marsh; senior deacon. John S. Manning, junior deacon; George W. 
Stanton, treasurer; George R. Taylor, secretary; W. A. Scott, tyler. The 
present officers are: Roy A. Cutler, worshipful master; Gorden S. Ehle, 
senior warden: Jul ward Domingo, junior warden; E. D. Greenhoe, senior 
deacon; George W. Miller, junior deacon; F. A. Rutherford, treasurer; J. 
Watson Couter, secretary. Al one time the lodge building was burned and 
most of the furniture and fixtures and the early records were lost. They 
have a present membership of one hundred and thirty-five. 


Ivanhoe Lodge No. 380, Free and Accepted Masons, at Lakevicw, was 
organized on January 30, 1885, by Arthur M. Clark, grand master; James 
H. Farnum, deputy grand master; Michael Shoemaker, senior warden; and 
Samuel Horton, junior warden. It was installed by James H. Farnum. 
Xeils H. Youngman was chosen first worshipful master; Charles T. French, 
senior warden; John \V. Kirtland, junior warden. It is a lamentable fact 
that the lodge building burned' down at an early date, destroying all the early 
records, including the list of charter members. The lodge is very active at 
present, having a membership of one hundred and fourteen. The present 
officers are: F. M. Northrup, worshipful master; B. F. Butler, senior war- 
den; A. \Y. Bale, junior warden; H. C. Holmes, treasurer; Scott Swart- 
hont, secretary; J. T. Swarthout, tyler. 


Pine Grove Lodge No. 202, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, was 
organized in Stanton, Michigan, February 7, 1873. under a dispensation 
issued on the 3d of February, from the grand lodge, authorizing and empow- 
ering F. A. Goldsmith, George F. Case, Martin Joy. A. Walker and Morris 
V. Baker to organize and constitute a subordinate lodge. By virtue of this 
authority placed in the above mentioned men the lodge was organized pur- 
suant to the dispensation, with the following charter members: F. A. Gold- 
smith. George F. Case. M. P. Baker, A. Walker, M. Joy and George W. 
Stoneburner. The charter for this lodge was granted by the grand lodge on 
February 21, and the lodge took on its permanent organization. The first 
officers elected were: F. A. Goldsmith, noble grand; G. F. Case, vice-grand; 
George W. Stoneburner, secretary ; Charles S. Wells, financial secretary ; 
M. P. Baker, treasurer. 


Those now serving- the lodge are: L. E, Brown, noble grand; M. D. 
Gates, vice-grand; II. \\". Palmer, secretary; R. Arthur Carothers, financial 
secretary; Thomas D. Dow, treasurer. They own their own quarters, which 
is a two-story building constructed of veneered brick in the year 1S85. This 
lodge made a remarkable growth in its early days, having reached a mem- 
bership of thirty-two at the end of the first year. Now their membership 
consists of one hundred and thirteen active members. Martin Joy is the onlv 
charter member living. 


.Mistletoe Lodge Xa 71. Daughters of Rebekah, was organized at Stan- 
ton on November 28, T883, with the following charter members: J. YV. 
Wheeler. YV. E. Estus, 1. M. Conrad, George PI. Dowy, C. A. Yanhoosen, 
George Geffers, Robert Takes, M. Joy, M. Franklin, P. F. Clark, II. P. 
Norton, Thomas Ball, E. R. Hammer. John A. .Miller, John Oding, J. C. 
Hartman, \Y. W. Purchase. G. E. Case, M. A. Bradford, E. Aspy. Julia 
Wheeler, Henrietta Estus, Amanda Norton; Nellie Conrad, Sarah Ball. 
Anna Dowy, Ester S. M. Hammer, Delia Oding. 

The first officers of Mistletoe Lodge Xo. 71 were: G. E. Case, noble 
grand: Julia Wheeler, vice-grand; Henrietta Estus. secretary; Delia Oding, 
financial secretary: Mary Clark, treasurer: Anna Dowy, warden: Miss Ball, 
conductress; Amanda Norton, right supporter to noble grand; H. P. Nor- 
ton, left supporter to noble grand; J. C. Oding, inner guard; George Dowy. 
outer guard; J. W. Wheeler, right supporter to vice-grand; P. E. Clark, left 
supporter to vice-grand: W. F. Estus, chaplain. 


Evergreen Encampment No. 89. Independent Order of Odd Fellows 
was instituted at Stanton, Michigan, February 5, 1879, with the following- 
charter members: H. I'. Norton, A. Jennings, M. T. Tenney, W. J. Fair- 
banks, Thomas Eric, Martin Joy and Reuben Sawtells. This camp con- 
tinued as an active part of the Odd Fellows lodge at Stanton and in Mont- 
calm county until the year 1895, when through lack of interest it surren- 
dered its charter. 

Evergreen Encampment Xo. 89 was reorganized at Stanton on April 
26, 1898. Since the reorganization this camp has had a period of prosperity 
and growth, and owing to the active part taken by its members it has now 


reached a membership of one hundred and sixty-two. The present officers 
are: John W. Basef, chief patriarch; H. O. Salisbury, junior warden; Karl 
Zimmerman, high priest; P. B. Sherwood, junior warden; David Mummery, 
treasurer; T. D. Dow, financial scribe; J. C. Hartman, scribe; Jerome Pint- 
ler, first watch; Ivan Hart, second watch; Pee E. McNutt, third watch; 
James Roger, tour watch; Lewis Johnson, outside sentinel; George. Reeves, 
inside sentinel. 


Canton Montcalm \o. 18, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, was 
established at Stanton. December 6. iqto, with the following charter mem- 
bers: J. ('. Hartman, C. R. Rarden, George A. Critchett, C. L. Meach, R. 
\V. Rhoades-. O. P. Bucaning, C. IP Bachman. M. T. C.*hristensen, P. S. 
Stubbins, Jerome Printler, William A. Wright, W. A. Evans, Levi A. Wil- 
son, Oscar Roger, M. D. Gates and A. T. Green. The first officers of this 
canton were: ( ". R. Rarden, captain; George A. Critchett, lieutenant; J. C. 
Hartman. ensign; C. H. Rachman. clerk ; R. W. Rhoades, accountant. The 
membership at present numbers fifty-five, and the following persons are 
serving the canton as the present officers: Charles C. Prevette, captain; 
R. M. King, lieutenant; T. D. Dow, ensign; Karl Zimmerman, clerk; P. S. 
Stubbins, accountant. J. C. Hartman is the only retired captain in this can- 
Ion, and Mr. Hartman also bears the title of major. 

F.MlMRli LODGE NO. 39. 

Empire Podge No. 39, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, was organ- 
ized at Pdmore, July 19. 1883, anG< installed by Past Grand Master Norman 
Railey. The first officers were: A. Jennings, noble grand; George Swift, 
vice-grand; PI. C. Pairchilds, recording secretary; Frank Betts, financial 
secretarv : J. K. Train, treasurer. The charter members were: George 
AIcKee. William Sexton. J. K. Train, Joseph Jacobs, George Farell, George 
Swift. H. C. Pairchilds, A. Jennings. J. J. Weir and D. B. Morehead. The 
vear 7912 found a new brick building under construction. It is thirty-three 
bv eightv-eight. and is two stories high. It has a good basement, built for the 
convenience of the members. The cost of this structure is estimated at 
$6,000. They took possession of this new hall in November, 19 r 2. The 
present officers are: William Richards, noble grand; L. A. Wardell, vice- 
grand; Lavern Welch, recording secretary; George Herman, financial secre- 


tary ; A. S. Morse, treasurer. The July, 1915, report showed a membership 
of one hundred and thirty-eight. 


Carson City Lodge Xo. 262. Independent Order of Odd Fellows, was 
organized on September 9. 1875. A dispensation was granted by Grand 
Alaster George Dean to P. Martin, W. C. Martin. E. FT. Brown, G. B. Pitts, 
S. W. Burgdurfer. \\\ A. Sweet, \V. M. Sever and George Knickerbocker, 
as charter members. At the first meeting the following persons were elected 
as officers to serve that organization: S. W. Burgdurfer, noble grand; F. 
II. Brower, vice-grand; \Y. (..'. Burke, recording secretary; \Y. A. Sweet, 
Jr., treasurer; P. Martin, warden; G. B. Pitts, conductor. Anderson Chest- 
nut, R. P. Davis and S. TL Caswell were the first candidates initiated. The 
officers elected at the last meeting are : Clyde Straight, noble grand ; Charles 
Orbh, vice-grand Frank F. Bennett, recording secretary; J. Fred (dark, 
financial secretary ; R. F. Fmerson, treasurer. The present membership num- 
bers ninety-six. 


Progress Lodge Xo. 3.42, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Mc.Bride. 
Michigan was organized on September 22, 1903, with the following charter 
members: Robert Deja. George Hunt, James F.rridge, William Gould and 
Thomas Garlock. it was installed by Grand Master Brown, and at the first 
meeting the following officers were elected: T. E. Garlock, noble grand; 
William Gould, vice-grand; Robert Deja, recording secretary; James Erridge, 
financial secretary; George Hunt, treasurer. The present officers are: Rich- 
ard Krause, noble grand; Ralph Deja, vice-grand; Wilder IT. Godfrey, 
recording secretary; Charles Dap]), financial secretary; O. F. Swift, treas- 
urer. The present membership of this lodge is seventy-two. 


ivy Leaf Lodge, Daughters of Rebekah, was organized at McBride. 
May 24, 1904, and installed by Grand Master Brown. Jennie Deja, Julia 
Froman, Martha Temple, Martha Pintler, George Froman and Jerome Print- 
ler were the charter members. The first officers were: Jennie Deja, noble 
grand; Martha Temple, vice-grand; Julia Froman, recording secretary; 
Jerome Printler, financial secretary; Mrs. Hall, treasurer. The present 


officers are: Minnie Fuitz, noble grand; Gladys Coles, vice-grand; Dora 
Coles, recording secretary; J da Seymore, financial secretary; Jndson Sey- 
more. treasurer. The growth of this lodge has been quite gratifying, since 
it now has a membership of seventy. 


Fureka Lodge No. 91, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, at Green- 
ville, was organized under a dispensation, October 26, 1865, its charter 
members having been \\ . C. Sherwood, Seth Sprague, YYilliam Maxted. 
W. X. Fettee, I). A. Flliott. its charter officers were: \Y. C, Sherwood, 
noble grand; Seth Sprague, vice-grand; L. W. Cole, secretary; \V. X. I'ettee. 
treasurer. It was installed by !>. W. Dennis, grand representative of Byron 
lodge, under the old live-degree system. At the time of the organization 
of this lodge George YV. Kissel was grand master. The present officers of 
this lodge are: Xels Johnson, noble grand; Lars Johnson, vice-grand; Jos- 
eph F. Forrest, recording secretary; John Kingin, financial secretary; C. I'. 
Tern-, treasurer. At the last initiatory the membership numbered two hun- 
dred and twenty-five. 


industry Lodge Xo. 107. Daughters of Rebekah. which is an auxiliary 
of the Odd fellows lodge at Greenville, was organized on December 13, 
.1 887. The following persons are now serving as officers of this lodge: Mrs. 
IJert.ha Gordon, noble grand; May Dick, recording secretary; Alta Straley, 
treasurer; Fthel McCollum, vice-grand; Mrs. Delia Mason, financial secre- 


Y'estaburg Lodge Xo. 352, Independent Order of Odd bellows, was 
organized on August 2^, t8<Si. They were so unfortunate as to lose all 
their records by lire in 180,3. so much of the early history of the lodge is 
unobtainable. However, the charter members are known, and are as follow: 
Clark Witbeck, Daniel I\ Strubble, Franklin K. Cordrey, John W. Johnson, 
Samuel Link, Christopher Johnson, Francis II. Cooper. John L. Evans. 
Stephen J. Martin. 

The lodge owns a large hall, which is worth al>out one thousand dollars. 


Tt is a live lodge, composed of sixty members. Present officers are: Noble 
grand, Jesse Beach; vice-grand, Edward Keeler; recording secretry, Fred 
Snyder; financial secretary, G. E. Peasley ; treasurer, Dan Caris. 


Entrican Lodge Xo. 43, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, was organ- 
ized on December 6, 191 1. This lodge was installed by Frank R. Hamber- 
ger, grand master, with the following charter members : William F. Delin- 
ert, Lewis X. Lee, Luther .Allen, R. A. Pintler, George F. Comden, Jerome 
Printler, Harvey Lee, Levi Wilson, Ered Comden. S. P. Funkhouse, S. P. 
Comden, A. A. Prall. Ethan Roberts, Edward Drier, D. M. Blumberg, Alva 
Cummins, M. A. Hunt, George T. Blumberg, TT. W. Smith, A. L. Cummins.. 
B. W. Smith. Lewis Wilson. Roy Sayles, Joe Clark, Charles Pritchard, 
James Jeffreys, William Pearson, R. C. Parshall, Roy Hunt, Jacob Craw- 
ford and Clarence Blumberg. The first officers to serve this lodge were : 
William E. Delinert, noble grand; Harvey Lee, vice-grand; Lewis X. Lee, 
recording secretary; S. J. Camden, financial secretary; Ray Printler, treas- 

The Entrican lodge purchased their present hall from the Knights of 
the Maccabees for the consideration of $700. This lodge has had a very 
marked growth, as shown by the fact that at the end of the only four years 
life it has reached a membership of ninety-five. The present officers are: 
Mortimer E. Hunt, noble grand; Clarence Blumberg. vice-grand; Ethan 
Roberts, financial secretary; Ray Printler. treasurer. 


Eenwick Lodge Xo. 517. Independent Order of Odd Fellows, was 
organized on September 6. 1905. with the following charter members: 
Homer Parks. Elmer T. Brokaw. S. P. Minier, Jay Gallop, John E. Staines. 
William W. Snyder. Charles II. Easton, II. L. Seeley. J. W. Bullock. David 
Peabody and Perry Brown. The first officers chosen by this lodge were as 
follow: S. P. Minier, noble grand; jay Gallop, vice-grand; J. W. Bullock, 
recording secretary; Homer Parks, financial secretary; John F. Staines, 
treasurer ; E. T. Brokaw, warden. 

This lodge has been very active and prosperous and deserves all the 
honor possible. Starting with a membership of eleven, it has reached a total 
membership of one hundred and twenty-two, and this in a village of only 


about forty inhabitants. This increase in membership has been accom- 
plished in ten years, and the lodge has drawn principally from the farming 
districts. Tt now holds third place in the lodges of Montcalm county of this 
order for size. The present officers are: V. C. Allchin, noble grand; S. D. 
Gates, vice-grand; Earl C. Jenks, secretary; J. G. Parks, treasurer; W. W. 
Root, warden. 


Joy Lodge No. 298, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, at Crystal, 
was organized on June 29, 1877. This chapter was installed by William 
Sweet, with the following charter members : Josiah L. Zuvcr, Hiram H. 
StefTey, Charles E. Rogers, Albert S. Oliver. John A. Drum and C. D. 
Mason. The first officers elected were: J. L. Zuver, noble grand; J. A. 
Drum, vice-grand; A. S. Oliver, recording secretary; C. E. Rogers, treas- 
urer. The present officers are: J. M. Lascille, noble grand; Marion Wald- 
row, vice-grand; J. Bert Proctor, recording secretary; C. M. Frank, treas- 
urer. This is now a large lodge, being composed of one hundred and three 


Peerless Lodge No. 4T, Daughters of Rebekah, of Crystal, was insti- 
tuted on April 21, 1880. The charter members were: Arkemas Grennel, 
Dianna Grennel, Permenio Long, Hannah Long, Daniel R. Shaffer, Cornelia 
Shaffer, Perry A. Powers, Flattie Powers, George Vernier, Louise Vernier, 
C. G. Mason, Louis Mason. John A. Drum, Susie Drum, O. F. Mason, Mary 
Mason, IT. IT. Freed, S. F. Freed. Harrison Wheeler, Mary Wheeler, Wil- 
ton Lascille. Emma Lascille. D. S. Struble, J. S. Struble and Mary Steffey. 


Even Lodge No. 87. Independent Order of Odd Fellows, at Sheridan, 
Michigan, was organized on August ^1. 1885, through a dispensation from 
the grand lodge by the grand warden, A. B. Clark. The charter members 
of this lodge were as follow : Lew Murray, W. Wheeler, W. F. McNaugh- 
ton, Calvin Rooker. E. B. Gardner, S. D. Albright, Arthur Flemingway, 
Edward E. Thayer, Frank C. Brackett. William H. Wood, Charles Doran, 
S. M. Gleason, Charles F. Brown, A. G. Giddings, William Fuller, E. J. 
Sherwood. Henry P. Clark, John J. Gray, M. A. Bonsell, David Brackett 
and Charles H. Hunt. The charter members, who are still active and in 
good standing, are W. Wheeler. M. F. McNaughton, E. E. Thayer, William 
H. Wood, William Fuller. The first officers of the lodge were : Clifton H. 


("lenient, noble grand; John Parmer, vice-grand; William Peters, recording 
secretary ; .Peter P. Clark, financial secretary ; Amos T. Avers, treasurer. 

The temple where the meetings are held at present is the property of the 
lodge. This is a two-story building, with a store room below and the lodge 
rooms above, and is valued at Si, 500. This lodge has an enrollment at pres- 
ent of one hundred and twenty members, and is a strong, active organiza- 
tion. Some forty of the members of this lodge belong to the encampment 
at Stanton. The regular meetings of the lodge are held on Monday of each 
week. The present officers are: U. YY. Haysmer. noble grand; George P. 
Brown, vice-grand; \i. E. Power, recording secretary; John Abbott, finan- 
cial secretaary. and X. Carstensen, treasurer. 


Rebekah Podge Xo. i>}$. Daughters of Kebekah, was organized at 
Sheridan, Pebruary, iyo_\ and installed by President Prancis W'essel. The 
charter members were; Pvangeline Harris, Mirandy Cowen, Angie ^Morri- 
son. Isabelle Spatch, Idella Porbes and Mae Mathewson. Evangeline Har- 
ris was chosen noble grand; Angie Morrison, vice-grand; Mae Mathewson, 
recording secretary; Tdella Porbes, financial secretary; Isabella Spatch, treas- 
urer. Cora Collier is now the noble grand; E. E. Moffatt, vice-grand: Pearl 
M. Griggs, recording secretary; Low M. ("lenient, financial secretary; Etta 

B. Grecnhoe. treasurer. A two-story frame building is owned by the lodge. 
It was constructed in the year 18S5, and purchased at a cost of $2,000. Thev 
now have a membership of seventy-one. 


Pelxoy Podge Xo. 0, Knights of Pythias, of Greenville. Michigan, was 
organized on July 10. 1883. with the following charter members: W. A. 
White, William B. Wells, C. W. Hayden, C. J. Clark, C. J. Church. Joseph 
Ottmar, James Mills, Charles \Y. Passage, A. B. Stevens, J. B. Cushman, 
P. i). Peaming, E. C. Morris, W. E. Partlow. E. \Y. Allen, Henry Shope. 
George Douglass. M. C. Crane, W. G. Nelson, W. W. Slawson. L. Wright, 

C. W. Herrick, Joseph Pichtenaur, B. E. Avery, R. P. Sprague. Elliot Brad- 
ley, P. E. Morris. Peroy Moore, C. O. Jamison, A. W r . Nichols, Charles Gib- 
son, Charles Middleton, W. D. Johnson. W. H. Conover, George Turner. 

The first officers were: William A. W'hite, chancellor commander: 


\V. G. Nelson, vice-chancellor; Foster Allen, prelate; W. W. Slawson, mas- 
ter of exchequer; A. B. Stevens, keeper of records and seal; Joseph Ottmar, 
master at arms; Charles llayden, outer guard; C. J. Clark, inner guard. 

As is the history of nearly all lodges, LeRoy No. 9 had its lean as well 
as fat years, and the year 1890 found them with about fifty members. At 
that time C. J. Drummond. B. F. Avery, F. C. Merrett, J. C. Newbrough, 
\Y. N. George, \\\ B. Wells. D. C. Carlin, J. F. Van Wonner, George W. 
Ferry and a number of others took an active interest in building up the 
lodge, with the result that in 1900 it had about eighty members and a sub- 
stantial surplus in its treasury. From 1900 to T906 nearly forty new mem- 
bers were added. Among them were the following enthusiastic, working 
members: \Y. J. Kingsbury, 11. N. Clement, C. C. Larke. K. S. Mason, F. 
G. Howard. R. M. Beardslee, C. B». Root. TT. M. Grosvenor, M. E. Glass, 
j. II. Timmink and F. A. Gallaway. To this honor list should now be 
added R. A. lb-own. S. A. Story, I\ B. Lyman, C. B. Harden, W. L. Harden, 
Don L. Dickerson, Roy C. Bond. II. AT. Glass, F. R. Hincklin, F. \V. Har- 
rington, R. H. Hale, I. C. Thomson, I). S. Seaman, and it is due to the 
active working interest of these members in particular that the member- 
ship on januarv 1. 1915. totals two hundred and seventy-five. 

With eighteen past chancellors it is thought the united efforts of such 
men as these that an annual Christmas dinner and suitable presents of cloth- 
ing and toys for each poor child in the city is given, and in 1914 a very suc- 
cessful street carnival was conducted, which netted the lodge $1,000. A 
voluntary subscription fund was also raised in this year, which enabled them 
to elaborately equip one of the finest lodge and club rooms on the second 
iloor of the State Bank building and also a ball room and banquet hall, with 
check rooms and a fully-equipped kitchen on the third floor. It is the proud 
boast, of I'vthiaus in Greenville that eight}' per cent, of the business men of 
the city are members of LeRoy No. 9. 

The present officers are as follow: D. S. Seaman, chancellor com- 
mander: R. M. Beardsley. vice-chancellor; D. L. Dickerson, prelate; F. XV. 
Harrington, keeper of records and seal; Philo Rich, master at arms; II. M. 
Glass, master of finance: VV. K. Ward, master of exchequer; J. E. Van 
Wormer. master of work; G. H. Rhodes, inner guard; H. Eastman, outer 
guard. H. N. Clement, of this lodge, is grand master of exchequer in the 
grand lodge of Michigan. 



Howard City Lodge No. 260, Knights of Pythias, was organized on 
December 19, 1913. Tt was installed by H. E. VanDewalker, with a large ' 
number of charter members. They are as follow : A. M. Cook, Sed V. 
Bullock, J. E. Bullock, II. M. Gibbs, W. J. Smith, E. L. Carnell, J. Arner, 
1. D. Bailey, C. C. Terwilliger, C. Crimmins, W. A. Brunner, J. L. Meier, 
B. E. Meier, L. B. Holmer, H. N. Vandenbeigh, W. Lish, Edward Sutton, 
A. T. Booth, L. A. Simpkins, E. S. Jennings, C. M. O'Donald, W. TT. Col- 
lins, J. B. Haskius, C. E. Barton, E. M. May, C. Wolfe, L. W. Green, P. S. 
Woodall, D. W. Clapp, \V. H. Gregg. C. G. Earry, Frank Reams, M. F. 
Butler, W. J. Dodge. N. W. Miller. The first officers to serve this lodge 
were: S. Jamer, chancellor commander; D. W. Clapp, vice-chancellor; E. 
W. Green, prelate; H. N. Vandenbiegh, master of work; A. T. Booth, 
keeper of records and seal; W. A. Brunner, master of finance; C. M. O'Don- 
ald, master of exchequer; R. S. Jennings, master at arms; J. L. Meier, 
inner guard ; Frank Reams, outer guard. 

Although this organization is not yet two years old, it boasts of a mem- 
bership of forty-nine. The persons now holding offices are : D. W. Clapp, 
chancellor commander; IT. N. Vandenbeigh, vice-chancellor; F. L. Carnell. 
prelate; J. L. Meier, kepeer of records and seal; S. Jamer, master of work; 
P S. Woodall, master of finance; C. M. O'Donald, master of exchequer; 
L. S. Simpkins. master at arms; Frank Reams, inner guard; M. F. Butler, 
outer guard. 


Roscndale Lodge No. 70, Danish Brotherhood Society, at Greenville, 
was organized on November 30, 1893, and installed by Vigo A. Danielsen. 
The charter was granted to the following people: M. Skroder, N. Rosendal, 
Peter Hansen, W. Feldt, j. Peterson, P. Johnsen, H. W. Petersen, John C. 
Nielsen, C. Jorgensen, C. P. Christiansen, Frank Rasmussen, J. P. Jorgen- 
sen, Jacob Nielsen and J. P. Nielsen. Of these people the following were 
elected to serve as the first officers : M. Skroder, II. Petersen, N. Rosendal, 
P. Hansen, W. Feldt, C. Nielsen, J. Petersen, C. Jorgensen, J. P. Nielsen 
and C. P. Christiansen. The persons now holding offices are : Ears Jensen, 
Chris Heediman, M. Christensen, N. P. Hansen. H. Hansen, H. Mikelsen, 
P. Andersen, N. Rosendal and C. S. Johnsen. They have a present mem- 
bership of one hundred and thirty. 


Petersen's mjnde society no. i8r. 

Petersen's Minde No. 181, Danish Brotherhood Society, at Sidney, was 
organized on October 10, 1903, and installed by Peter Madison, of Green- 
ville. The following poeple made up the charter members: Hans P. Lar- 
sen, Martin Schroder, .Pars P. Christiansen, Jens Petersen, Rasmus J. Ras- 
mussen, Hans Iversen, J. P. Lamb, H. P. Nielsen. Carl C. Andersen, W. 
Rydahl, L. Jensen, W. C. Hansen, A. Thompsen, N. J. Petersen, Peter E. 
Mathisen, Plenrick A. Petersen, Johannes IT. Nielsen, Niels J. Lamb, Martin 
J. Christensen, Peter Hansen, Frank G. Hansen, Simon M. Petersen, Marius 
T. Christensen, bred \V. Jensen and Fritz Schroder. They own a large hall, 
constructed at a cost of $1,500. 


Christensen Lodge No. 163, Danish Brotherhood Society, at Edmore, 
was organized on March 14, 1903, and installed by C. Christensen. The 
following people were chosen the first officers: N. C. Hansen, ex-president; 
P. M. Mortensen, president; L. P. Christensen, vice-president; F\ Jensen, 
secretary; N. C. Jorgensen, treasurer; trustees, Alfred Hansen. A. Jensen 
and J. P. Jorgensen; N. Larsen, inner guard; G. Nielsen, outer guard. In 
1912 a new frame building was put up, at a cost of $1,600. The lodge is a 
very prosperous and busy one, and its membership numbers fifty-six. The 
present officers are: P. M. Mortensen. ex-president ; John Mathusen, presi- 
dent; N. C. Jorgensen, vice-president; Albert A. Petersen, secretary; J. P. 
Jensen, treasurer; trustees, P. Sorensen, H. H. Hansen and J. C. Hansen; 
inner guard, N. C. Hansen; outer guard, H. P. Christensen. 


Lodge No. 106, Danish Brotherhood Society, was organized at Trufant 
on December 27, 1897, an( l was installed by Christopher Winther, a delegate 
from Greenville Lodge No. 70. There were twenty-six charter members, as 
follow : Conrad Christensen, J. P. Paulsen, O. P. Olsen, C. F. Hansen, N. 
P. Olsen, A. P. Larsen, J. Paulsen, J. P. Jensen, N. P. Mortensen, H. P. 
Jensen, N. P. Jensen, N. P. Nielsen, O. N. Johnson, H. P. Larsen, P. Niel- 
sen, LI. Olsen, J. Larsen, T. S. Jensen, O. Jensen, S. C. Mortensen, N. Peter- 
sen, O. P. Antonsen, F. Haagen, C. Hansen, G. P. Rasmussen and H. P. 
Simonsen. The following were chosen to the various offices : Conrad 


Christensen, president; J. P. Paulsen, vice-president; O. P. Olseu. ex-presi- 
dent; C. F. Hansen, secretary; X. P. Olsen, treasurer; A. P. Larsen. leader; 
H. P. Jensen, inner guard; X. P. Jensen, outer guard; J. 'Paulsen. [. P. 
Jensen and X. P. Mortensen were the trustees. 

At the last business meeting the following persons were elected officers: 
C. C. Weinrich. president: C. Frandsen. vice-president: M. Mortensen, ex- 
president; P. C. Paulsen, secretary; L. P. Jensen, treasurer; 11. J'. Christ- 
iansen, leader; J. P. Petersen, inner guard; 11. P. Larson, outer guard; A. 
Jensen, F. S. Jensen and J. Paulsen were the trustees. The total membership 
in October, 1915. was one hundred and sixty-six. The lodge owns their own 
hall, which was dedicated on October 30. 1901. The building is a frame 
structure .twenty-four bv seventy, which was constructed at a cost of $700. 
and this is without the cost of labor, as all the members helped in putting up 
the building. They also own a horse barn, which has room for fortv 


Anna Lodge \'o. 64. Danish Sisterhood, was organized at Trufant, 
December 27, 101 _•, with thirty-two charter members. The first officers 
were as follow: Kmma Jokerson, ex-president; Anna Cliristensen, presi- 
dent; Marie Kasmussen. vice-president ; Stine M. Larsen, secretary; Chris- 
tine Hansen, treasurer; Anna Xielsen. leader; Marie Andersen. Christine 
Petersen and Marie Cliristensen were the trustees; Juliane Weinrieh, inner 
guard: Stine Simonseu, outer guard. The present officers are: Mrs. Anna 
Antonsen. ex-president: Line Jensen, president: Christine Hansen, vice- 
president: Marie Bcruth, secretary; Kami Tensen, treasurer; Camilla Frand- 
sen. leader; trustees. Marie Pasinussen. Xina Hansen and Ida Hansen; 
Mina Pari, inside guard; Anna Xielsen, outer guard. In October, 1915. 
they had seventy-eight active and three passive, members. 


(Greenville Cam]) Xo. 3789. Modern Woodmen of America, was organ- 
ized on April 17. 180A with the following charter members: J. J*. Johnson, 
W. C. Johnson, William Abbey. Asa P. Borier, W. H. Brown. E. G. Card. 
George L. Cole. Herbert Decker, J. C. Denison, Percy Fdsal, W. I'. Farns- 
worth. Archer Forsythe, Charles 1-inch. \ aldemer Feldt. F. G. Higgins. ]. 
Gracy. Charles Hamper. J. Hcnkel. M. G. Hillman, L. W. Hyde, C. ]orgen- 
sen, J. S. Kemp, Judd Martin, Edward Lincoln, L. C. Lincoln, L A.' T.oii"- 


street, A. Magee, Fdward Magee, Homer Magee, John Peterson, C. P. 
Rodgers. J. A. Rhoadis. Z. Ridley, G. B. Starr, J. II. Serviss, Warren Ser- 
viss, F. C Stephenson. F. A. Spanieling, M. A. Tyler, J. Wagner. Alva 
Weeks, J. (..'. Wright, C C Wilson and S. Woodworth. The old book of 
records has heen lost, so the early history of this lodge is shrouded in mys- 
tery, but it is remembered that Percy Fdsal was the first vice-consul, and 
W. Serviss was the clerk. The present officers are: G. TI. Chandler, vice- 
consul: A. Martin, worthy advisor; I.. G. Lincoln, clerk; II. Fastman, treas- 
urer: T. Sheperd, escort. 

m'brtdk camp no. 10504. 

Mcl>ride Gamp X<>. 10504, Modern Woodmen of America, was organ- 
ized on February 24, i()i.'., and installed by Deputy John F. Gary. The 
following persons constituted the charter members: Daniel G. Bell, Will- 
iam X. Loice. David I-:. I {rooks, William Giles, Robert Hamilton, Alfred Y. 
Hansen. Sylvester Hissing. Toval G. G. Johnson, Lewis M. McLean. Delbert 
Pulsipher, Frank Sloan, George W. Strickland, Guy F. Switzer and William 
W. Gould. The first officers chosen to serve this association were: Vener- 
able consul. William X. Boice : worthy advisor, William W. Gould; eminent 
banker, I.). G. Hell: clerk, ( ieorge W. Strickland; escort, Sylvester Hissing; 
watchman. David F. Brooks; sentry, William Giles; physician. D. G Bell; 
trustees. Toval G. G Johnson. Lewis McLean and Alfred Hansen. The 
lodge prospered until '<<)\2 when the head cam]) undertook to raise the rate 
and then twelve members dropped out before they understood what the 
increased rate was for. I'int ten new members were added in April, t 91 5 , 
so that made up for part of the loss, making the total number of members 
thirtv-two. Only two death claims have been paid during the history of the 
lodge. The persons now holding offices are: Jesse G Reagon, past consul; 
Ferris G Arnold, venerable consul; John Miles, worthy advisor; S. C. 
Mortensen, eminent banker: Ardoh G McCall, clerk; G. G. McGrea. escort; 
G P. McGrea. watchman: Alfred Anderson, sentry. The board of man- 
agers is composed of the following- members: Claud Brail, H. K. Xeilsen 
and G. G McGrea. 


Ball Gam]) No. 5814. Modern Woodmen of America, at Langston. was 
organized on November 4. 1898, and installed by S. S. Carr. with the fol- 
lowing charter members : John Wilcox, John Korter, Fred Ball, George 


Covling, Chanccy Sparks, James Clifford, W. Taylor, C. C. Sayler, L. L. 
Hinkley, Will Forll, Leroy Sayler.. Fred Briggs, L. B. Benedict and Joe 
Rederstorf. The first officers chosen were John Wilcox, venerable consul; 
John Korter, worthy advisor; Fred Ball, eminent banker; G. A. Covling, 
clerk; C. Sparks, escort; J. Clifford, watchman; W. Taylor, secretary; C. C. 
Sayles, physician. The present officers are Walter McHattie, venerable con- 
sul ; William Force, worthy advisor; Fred Ball, eminent banker; John Wil- 
cox, clerk. Their present membership is twelve. 


Lakeview Camp Xo. 3240, Modern Woodmen of America, was organ- 
ized on September 5, 1895, with the following charter members: Dan 
Brimmer, Will Charnley, T. (). Chapman. A. B. Dickerson, A. J. Diehrn, 
Duncan Fink, C. F. Green. F. D. Rhodes, F. B. Stehbins, Robert Scurrah, 
C. W. Welch, Josiah White, S. F. Young and N. II. Youngman. The first 
officers included C. F. Green, venerable consul; R. Scurrah, worthy advisor; 
N. H. Youngman, clerk ; F. B. Stehbins, eminent banker ; Duncan Fink, 
escort; E. D. Rhodes and S. F. Young; Dr. F. R. Blanchard. physician; A. 
B. Dickerson, A. J. Diehrn and Josiah White, managers. 


Howard City Court No. 35, Tribe of Ben-Hur, was organized on July 
t8. 1898, and was installed by George Shoults. Following are the charter 
members : F. J. Bast, Margaret Woodall, Joseph Woodall, James Totten Jos- 
epr Woodall, 'jr., W. A. Hurlburt, T. B.*Ensley, Etta Whtifield, Lee Whit- 
field. Mary Bast. Frank Jones, James Baty, William Templeman. John Baty, 
Tsabelle Baty and Flora Larry. At the first meeting the following persons 
were chosen to look after the interests of this new organization: Earnest 
Bast, chief; Margaret Woodall, judge; W. A. Hurlburt, teacher; Fren Ensley, 
scribe; Etta Whitfield, keeper of tribute; L. E. Whitfield, captain; Joseph 
Woodall, guide; Mary Baty. keeper of inner gate; Frank Jones, keeper of 
outer gate. This is a lively little organization which takes a goodly interest 
in their work. They hold their meetings on the first and third Tuesday of 
each month, and once a month they have a program with a supper following. 
The present officers are as follow: George Davidson, chief; Flora Larry, 
judge; Florence Vandenburgh, teacher; Harriet Woodall, scribe; Charles 
Vandenburgh, keeper of tribute; Prentice W'oodall, captain; Henry Opper, 


guide; Charles Bogardus. keeper of outer gate; Austin Barber, keeper of 
inner gate. 


Coral Court Xo. 38, Tribe of Ben-Hur. was organized at Coral on Janu- 
ary 27, 1899, and installed by Doctor Shultz with the following charter 
members: George Armitage, Dr. E. William Bolio, George Masters, Mertie 
Tuck, Sarah E. Holcomb. Eliza V. Armitage, James E. Kyle, Augusta 
Wright. Charles M. Holcomb, Ellen Durst, Mary E. Holcomb, Alice Wilson, 
Harry Minore, E. A. Holcomb and Mary L. Horton. The first officers 
were George Armitage, chief: Dr. E. William Bolio, past chief; George 
Masters, teacher; Mrs. Mertie Tuck, judge.; Mrs. S. E. Holcomb, scribe; 
Eliza Armitage, guard; A. Wright, keeper of inner gate; Ered Kyle, keeper 
of outer gate; Charles M. Holcomb, captain; Ellen Durst, keeper of tribute. 
Charles M. Holcomb is now the chief, and Augusta Wright is the scribe 
and keeper of tribute. The present membership is twenty-nine. 


Greenville Council No. 622, Royal Arcanum, was organized on October 
22, t88i, and installed by H. E. W. Campbell. The charter was granted to 
the following members: A. W. Nichols, D. Jacobson, G. H. Palethorp, H. 
Starr, J. L. Van Wormer, S. L. Tyler, C. E. Gilmour, D. D. Clough, E. W. 
Baker, William Maxted, G. W. Turner, R. E. Sprague, W. Knapp, D. A. 
Towle, A. S. Contant, W r . H. Conover, and of these the following were 
elected officers: William Maxted. regent: G. W. Turner, vice-regent; R. 
E. Sprague, orator; W. Knapp, past regent; D. A. Towle. secretary; A. S. 
Contant, collector; W. H. Conover, treasurer. The persons who now have 
the vital interests of this lodge in hand are: J. E. V r an Wormer. regent; 
E. C. Lincoln, secretary; J. E. Van Wormer, collector: A. O. Derby, treas- 
urer: William B. Wells, orator. It is of interest to know that this is the 
only Royal Arcanum lodge in the county. 


Mistletoe Camp No. 12 16, Royal Neighbors of America, was organized 
at Greenville on November 29, 1898, with the following charter members: 
Mrs. Maggie Baker, Mrs. Hannah Bass, Mrs. Eena Bass, Mrs. Pearl 
Blanchard. Dr. E. R. Blanchard, Mrs. Grace Brimmer, Mrs. Grace Charn- 


ley, Mrs. Anna Crandall, Airs. Flora Derrick, Mrs. Octavia Dickerson, Alary 
J. Carlton, Dura Pinch. Alary J. Trench, Teresa Goldstein, Xellie Ilollier. 
Minnie llunniston. M. A. Johnson, Miss Mercer, Xettie Pierce, Marianne 
Scnrrah, Sabina Simmons, Minnie Smith, May Yining and Anna Young- 
nian. The. camj) was installed by Mrs. M attic Lombard, of Grand Rapids. 
The first officers of the camp were: Marianne Scnrrah. past oracle; Dora 
Finch, oracle; Pearl Blanchard, vice-oracle: 1 Puttie Beard, chancellor; Clara 
Fink, recorder; Alary J. French, receiver; Minnie llunniston, marshal; 
Xettie Pierce, assistant marshal; Al. A. Johnson, inner sentinel. 

The present officers include Xora Peterson, past oracle: Laura Kirt- 
land, oracle; Sabina Simmons, vice-oracle; Xettie Pierce, chancellor; Lib 
Cole, recorder; Marianne Scnrrah, receiver; Jennie Swarthout, marshall : 
Grace Seat, assistant marshall; F'.llen Brown, inner sentinel; Flora llackett, 
outer sentinel; Picher, Alattie Strang and Julia Seat, managers: Dr. 
L. F. Kelsey, physician. 


During the administration of President Johnson, in 1806, the agricul- 
tural affairs in the South were in such a deplorable state that it was decided 
to study the conditions among the farmers and ascertain if something could 
not be done for their betterment. The President decided to place this work- 
under the jurisdiction of the department of agriculture, and Isaac Xewton. 
who was then commissioner of agriculture, was placed in charge of the 
work. (). II. Kelley, of Alinnesota, who was then a clerk in the agricul- 
tural department, was sent south to study the conditions among the farmers. 
On his return be made a report which disclosed such a frightful state of 
affairs that the idea of organizing the farmers into a society was determined. 
This society was known as the Patrons of Husbandry, or Grangers, and the 
national grange was organized at Washington, D. C, December 4, r<S6/. 
The first national officers were: William Sanders. District of Columbia, 
master; J. R. Thompson. Vermont, lecturer: Anson Bartlett, Ohio, steward; 
A. U. Grosh, Pennsylvania, chaplain: William Ireland, Pennsylvania, treas- 
urer; (.). H. Kelley. secretary; F. P. Farris. Illinois, gatekeeper. 

Dispensations were granted by the national grange to the following 
cities; Harrisburg. Pennsylvania, first; Fredonia, New York, second; 
Columbus, Ohio, third. The agricultural bulletin of October 4, 1873, 
showed granges to the number of six thousand nine hundred and fourteen 
in the United States. 

3 8. 

Michigan followed soon afte. <ier share of granges and although 

the agricultural interests in Montcalm county had not reached that period 
of growth which they did at a later time, still as early as 1874 a grange was 
organized in this count}'. 

Montcalm Grange \o. 318, which was the lir.»>t grange organized in the 
county, was incorporated under the laws of Michigan on March 9. T874. 
There were thirty-five charier members in this grange and the names of the 
first officers arc as follow: Stephen Rossman, master; Chester 1'. Maker, 
overseer; Henry S. Sharp, lecturer; I... C. Lincoln, steward: Charles Snyder, 
secretary. The dispensation from the national grange for the organization 
n\ this subordinate grange was issued and a charter granted on Julv 8. T874. 
by the national master. Dudley \Y. Adams, and secretary, O. H. Kelley. 
This was passed and recorded by the state grange of Michigan on August 
i, J874. S. b. Brown was the state master at that time and J. F. Cobb, 
state secretary. Tims the first grange in Montcalm count)- came into exist- 
auce and the >cc<\ of this order was sown in Montcalm county. 

In the spring of T875 the second grange was organized in this county. 
Joseph Minier was the chief worker in the furthering of this lodge which 
was organized in Bushnell township and held its initial meeting in June Avith 
one hundred and sixteen charter members present. At the time of the 
organization of this grange it was the strongest that had ever been organ- 
ized in the state and as evidence of the enthusiasm with which this order 
was received it C noted the membership five years later had increased to 
two hundred and five members in good standing. 

Since that time there has been a steady increase in the number of 
granges organized in the count)'. As the agricultural interests became more 
active and the attention of the landowners was turned to farming a greater 
number of granges sprung up. At the present time there is a strong covin tv 


Stanton Post Xo. 37, Grand Army of the Republic, was organized at 
Stanton the 5th of December, i88r, with twenty-three charter members. 
The first officers of the post were li. TT. Hinds, commander: B. B. Clark, 
senior \ ice-commander ; J. \Y. Wheeler, junior vice-commander; Jesse TIol- 
comb, quartermaster; Asa Morse, surgeon; Gideon Dingman, chaplain; TI. 
P. Xorton, officer of the day; F. C. Rowley, officer of the guard; J. C. 
Pereival. adjutant: J. \Y. Bigelow. sergeant major; Fred Xye, quartermaster 
sergeant. The officers of this post were installed by George E. Judd, of 

382 .V ■■' CHIGAN. 

Grand Rapids. Present location o. ost is on the north side of Main 

street over C H. Carother's store. The present membership is sixteen. 
The present officers are: T. N. Smith, commander; C. R. Bellows, senior 
vice-commander; E. M. Warner, junior vice-commander; J. II. Tishue, 
quartermaster; John Hall, chaplain; J. H. Tilshue, officer of the day; C. 
IT. Loomis, officer of the guard, and J. A. Crocker, adjutant. 


Montcalm Post Xo. f 76, Grand Army of the Republic, at Stanton, was 
organized on December 5, 1895, Capt. Thomas N. Stevens being the father 
of the post. The charter members were as follow: Capt. T. N. Stevens, 
Lieut. J. C. Percival, Capt. H. M. Hempstead, Henry H. House, Joshua "B. 
Krebs, John C. Grooms, Edwin D. Childs, Charles IT. Miner, John D. 
Sutherland, A. J. Rickard, David Hopkins, John Shauman. Hiram TT. Lowe. 
George E. Barber and Thomas Burns. Henry M. Hempstead was chosen 
as first commander; Thomas X. Stevens, adjutant, and James Percival, 
quartermaster. John C. Grooms is now serving as commander, John B. 
Cole as vice-commander, and Henry M. Hempstead is the adjutant and 
quartermaster. This post started with sixteen members and during the fol- 
lowing seven years thirty-six additional members were secured. A few 
have moved to other towns or dropped out and thirty are known to be dead, 
and onlv seven members remain in the post. 

woman's relief corps. 

William A. Kent Lodge XT). 14. Woman's Relief Corps, was organized 
at Greenville in 1884. and installed by Ella W. Shank, deputy president, 
with the following charter members: Mrs. Mary Gibson. Nancy Johnson. 
Lucinda Hetett, Amanda Seaman. Mary Shaffer. Martha Middleton, Jane 
Clase, Erankie Xewton, Leonona Coon, Mary Trask, Mary Bates, Julia 
Hansen, Miranda Griffith, Amelia Hornig, Elizabeth Elsworth, Alice Strong, 
Sarah Slaght. Martha Jones, Josephine Everett. Calista Van Wormer, 
Minnie Cole, Sonia Spencer and Julia Erayser. The first officers were as 
follow: Mrs. Anna Chase, president; Mrs. Hattie Padden, vice-president; 
"Mrs. Hattie Turner, junior vice-president; Mrs. Anna Grabill, secretary; 
Mrs. Jennie Haydon, treasurer; .Mrs. Carrie Barbor, inspector; Mrs. Eanny 
Tower, conductor: Mrs. Agnes Gibson, guard; Mrs. Amanda Belknap, cha]>- 
lain. Thev hold their meetings in the city hall, and the membership has 


reached a total of fifty-four. Augusta Blanchard is the present president; 
Laura King, senior vice-president: Elizabeth Gray, junior vice-president; 
Florence Beach, secretary; Myrta Shenfield, treasurer; Alfreda Fries, chap- 
lain; Fmeline Elliott, conductor; Frances Atvvood, guard; Alwilda Edsall. 
assistant conductor; Sally Cora, assistant guard. The color hearers are as 
follow: First color hearer. .Anna Ziegenfuss: second, Margaret Binghan; 
third. Jennie Peek: fourth, Mary Surhoff. The patriotic instructor is Cor- 
delia Khoades, the press correspondent is Ahvild Edsall and the musician is 
Jessie Hale. 


Stanton Eodge No. 9, Woman's Relief Corps, was organized at Stanton 
on February 29, 1884, with Alary S. Hinds as president. The National 
Woman's Relief Corps was organized at Denver, Colorado, in 1883, with 
E. Florence Barker as first national president. On April 2, 1884, the 
Department of Michigan, Woman's Relief Corps, was organized at Lansing. 
Therefore, lodge No. 9 is older than the department. Corps No. 9 was 
organized with the following charter members: Mary E. Hinds, Mary Nye. 
Estclla E. Moore, Harriet Youngs, Elmira Finch, Carrie E. Stevens, Maria 
Lucas. Maggie Weatherwax, Mary Caruthers. Catherine Hubbard, Pcrcia 
Hempstead. Maggie Roller, Hannah Colburn, Mary Miller, Jane Waldo. 
Sarah Ball. Naomi Barden, Emma Flughes, Henrietta Estes, Alary Butler, 
.Mary E. Grooms, Lu E. S. Towle, Mary E. Stevens. Diana Dingman, 
Jennie E. Childs. Marie Yorhics. Alice Paris and Sybil E. Graisley. 

The purpose of this organization is to teach patriotism and to help 
need}' veterans of the Civil War. Its watchwords are: Fraternity. Charity 
and Loyalty. The members of corps No. 9 have worked zealously for this 
purpose and in spite of discouragements have done much to instill love of 
country and relieve distress. 

Past presidents of the corps are as follow: 1884, Mary S. Hinds; 
1885. Carrie E. Stevens: t886, Mary E. Nye; J887. Bertha E. Smith; 1888, 
Mary E Ball; 1889, Carrie B. Stevens; 1890-91, Mary Underwood; T892, 
Flmira Finch: 1893, Estella L. Moore; 1894, Matilda Weed; 1895, Mattie 
Valentine: 1806. Lizzie Uallet; 1897. Mary E. Holcombe ; 1898, Louisa E. 
Elliot: 1809. Sybil Brown; 1900, Cassie McBain; 190^03, Louisa E. Elliot; 
!oo.{, Ella 1'ickard: J 905, Rosa Pickell ; 1906, Esther Newman; 1907, 
Maggie Roller; 1908-12. Louisa E. Elliot; 19T3, Esther Newman; 191-4-16, 
Louisa E. Elliot. 

The corps now has a membership of seventy-three, with the following 



officers: Louisa E. Elliot, president: Ida \'. Wilcox, secretary; Esther 
Xewman, treasurer. .Many honors have been brought to corps No. q by its 
members who have been elected to office in the district, department and 
national organizations. 

m 'cook's i.oix.i-: no. 247. 

McCook's Lodge \o. 247, Woman's Relief Corps, was organized at 
McBride. April 5. 1^0,7. and was installed by Alary Sherwood Hinds with 
twenty-six charter members. The first officers were as follow: Mrs. Susan 
Sci'f, president; Stella Xeff, secretary; Mrs. John Perkins, treasurer; Mrs. 
Lewis Perkins, chaplain. Mrs. M. J)eja is now the president; Mrs. H. Bush, 
secretary; Mrs. Maude SvA)\ treasurer; Mrs. George Carpenter, chaplain. 
This organization was very fortunate in having their lodge building donated 
to them as a gift. Present membership is thirty-one. 


Montcalm Lodge Xo. 53. Woman's Relief Corps, was organized on 
Januarv 20. 180,6, at Stanton, bv Martha Hern-man and installed by Henry 
Hemstead, with the following list of charter members: Carolyn E. Stevens. 
.Mary J. Krebs, Ruth Burns, Jennie Childs, Jennie E. Crum, Man: J. Barber, 
Helen Bennett, Eleanor E. Youngs, Eva Shannon, and ten others whose 
names cannot be obtained. Eleanor Youngs was chosen the first president; 
Alary McXutt. treasurer. 

The present officers are: Anna M. Tamil, president; Lucv II. Krebs. 
senior vice-president: Carolyn. E. Stevens, secretary; Marv E. Grooms, 
treasurer: Eannie L. Cole. cha])lain; Lucy M. Disbrow, conductor; Belle 
Blindbury. guard: Lelia Chase, assistant conductor; Carrie Lutterworth, 
assistant guard; C. I-".. Stevens, press correspondent: M. J. Barber, patriotic 
instructor; Mary J. Barber, musician. The present membership is thirty. 



The banks and the banking interests of Montcalm county have gone 
through all of the successive financial changes which the county has experi- 
enced. These institutions have experienced the same prosperity and reverses 
which marked the history of the county that came through the great pros- 
perity during the pine timber era and reached the lowest ebb after this 
natural resource had been ruthlessly slaughtered and finally was exhausted. 
At ihe time this industry was at its height, many banks were established and 
apparently were on a firm financial basis, but when large timber interests 
which were also thought to be strong financially began to fail they generally 
carried some bank along with them. So that the life of the banks in this 
count}-, with a few exceptions, is divided into two different periods, namely, 
during the timber period and then when the county had taken on an agri- 
cultural existence and a more stable basis and a firmer foundation had been 

The oldest, existing bank in the county dates its organization from 1887, 
while the major percentage have been organized since 1897. Tt is true, how- 
ever, that a few of the banks of the present day were outgrowths of some 
of the earlier banks, while in one or two cases a bank of the present day- 
was organized and retained the good will of the one which had previously 
existed in the same locality. Tt is true that there have been a great number 
of failures in the field of banking in this county and this came with the 
great prosperity and then when the different interests of the county reached 
the bottom the banks were not able to meet such reverses and had to close 
their doors. 

The new era in "Montcalm which could rightly be- called the agricul- 
tural era, just as that period from 1876 to 1892 could be called the pine 
timber era. brought with it a rock basis to work on. The banks of the 
county are all doing a nice business and while some are not as large as others 
they all seem to be on a firm footing where they can insure safety to their 
depositors. The individual historv of the active banks of the count v follows. 



The State Savings Bank of Stanton first began business on June 1. 
1895. as a private bank under the Finn name of C. W. French & Company. 
The banking business of Stanton at that time had been at a rather low ebb 
owing to the general wave of depression which was sweeping over the 
country as a result of the exhaustion of the timber. This bank was started 
by C. W. French and continued as a private bank until September 3, 1901, 
when it was incorporated as a state bank under the name which it now bears. 
The original incorporators of the state bank were as follow: Fred Mess- 
enger. Benson F. Gaflield, l'atrick J. Divine, Charles IF FaFlambov. Fouis 
Xeff, John Finnegan. Sherman Xcfr, F. C. Palmer, Fugene Straight. John 
Dallavo. John \\ . S. Ficrson, Funis Ball and C. \Y. French. The capital 
stock was $20,000. which was divided into two hundred shares of one hun- 
dred dollars each and has remained the same up to the present time. 

The lirst officers of this institution were Fred R. Messenger, president; 
Patrick J. Divine, vice-president; Charles \Y. French, cashier. The officers 
have remained the same as at first with the exception of Benson F. Gafficld 
who succeeded Patrick J. Divine as vice-president; also the election of Will- 
iam S. French as assistant cashier. This is one of the strong financial 
institutions (^' the county and on a firm basis as shown by the fact that the 
shares of stock are in demand and sell greatly above par. This bank does 
a savings .and commercial business and according to the statement for 1915 
had deposits amounting to $225,000 with surplus and undivided profits of 
$10,000. The building in which the bank is located is the proper! v of the 
bank and is valued at $6,000, with fixtures valued at $2,000. 


The State Bank of Greenville was organized on April 2T, 1896. with 
the following named persons as organizers and first stockholders: C. Jesse 
Church. I-". X. Wright. C. \\". Johnson. Mary F. Taylor, Fugene Rutan. 
Charles A. Church. F. S. Gibson. \V. U. Browne, W. D. Johnson. Rebecca 
F. Fllsworth. (). C. McDonnell and Cass T. Wright. The first officers to 
serve the bank were: F. X. Wright, president; C. J. Church, first vice- 
president; W. D. Johnson, second vice-president: W. H. Browne, cashier. 
The capital stock was placed at $25,000. Frank S. Gibson is the present 
president: F. Rutan and C. IF Gibson are the vice-presidents; W. IF Browne 


is the cashier, in which capacity he served since the organization of the 
bank. The bank occupies a substantial three-story brick building which 
cost $12,500. The beautiful fixtures are in keeping with the building and 
are valued at $3,000. According to the last statement of this bank it has 
deposits amounting to $475,000 and a surplus of $25,000. 


The present O'Donalds .Bank of Howard City was organized by N. W. 
Mather in 1872 with a capital stock of $25,000. Mr. Mather stood at the 
helm of this bank until 1895 when he sold it to R. IT. O'Donald and Stephen 
C. Scott. They continued in business under the firm name of O'Donald & 
Scott up to the death of Mr. Scott in tqjo. Now Mr. O'Donald has sole 
charge of the bank and is running a line business. The building occupied 
bv the bank is made of brick, and was constructed at a cost of $5,000. The 
fixtures are carried at $2,600. The last statement of the bank shows deposits 
amounting to $350,000 and a surplus of $45,000. 


The Commercial State Savings Bank of Greenville was organized on 
September 2. K)02, with a capital stock of $25,000. The following persons 
were the organizers and first stockholders: J.). K. Black, C. V. Coats, C. A. 
Miller. T. J. Potter, K. \ .. Paine. E. A. Kemp. Paul Van Deinse, O. C. 
Miller. Silas Kent. E. I). Briggs, E. S. Rowley. C. II. Wells and R. J. 
Tower. T. j. Potter served as first president and served in this capacity 
until January. joo.|. I\ K. Ranney was then elected and has been president 
ever since. D. K. Black and C. A. Miller were the first vice-presidents and 
C. V. Coals the first cashier and all three men have retained their respective 
oifces. The last statement shows deposits amounting to $475,000. with a 
sin plus of $30,000. 


The State Bank of Six Lakes was organized on the 30th of November, 
TQ14. with a capital stock of $20,000. William J. Orr. William H. Wallace. 
George Bilbrough, Aaron Anion, Andrew W. Orr and Benjamin E. Plumbv 
were the organizers and first shareholders of this bank. Of these persons 
William J. Orr was chosen president; Aaron Amon, vice-president. Benjamin 
P. Plumley. cashier. These persons are still taking care of the interests of 


the bank. The batik building, which is located on Clark street, is constructed 
of cement blocks and presents a very pleasing appearance. The fixtures are 
valued at $1,500. The last statement of this bank shows the deposits to be 
$3 [.270.30. 


The People's State Bank of Edinorc was originally organized or rather 
eslablished bv E. S. Wagar, in 1897, who managed it as a private bank under 
the name of K. S. Wagar's Bank. In 1908 Mr. Wagar incorporated it as 
a state bank and gave it the name which it now bears. The original capital 
stock was placed at. $20,000 and this has never been changed. The first 
officers were E. S. Wagar, president; William A. Wood, vice-president; 
Harry E Wagar, cashier. Mr. Wagar served at the helm of this bank 
until his death in 1914 and in his seventeen years as head of this institution 
he always tried to conduct the business of the bank to the best interests of 
the stockholders and patrons. William A. Wood succeeded Mr. Wagar to 
the presidency with James Purdon as vice-president and Harry E. Wagar 
retained the position of cashier. The bank is on a firm financial basis with 
deposits in 1915 amounting to $150,000 and a surplus of $3,000. This 
bank is situated in a beautiful and commodious bank building which was 
erected at a cost of $4,000. Tt is beautifully furnished with fixtures valued 
at $2,000. 


The Coral Bank was organized in the village of ("oral in T906. Paul 
K. Dinsmore and Stephen M. Dinsmore were the organizers and first stock- 
holders of this bank, which was incorporated for $io,ooo. The first officers 
were Paul R. Dinsmore. president, and Stephen M. Dinsmore, vice-presi- 
dent and cashier. April 21. 1908, this bank was organized as the State 
Bank of Montcalm County with a capital stock of $20,000, with the follow- 
ing stockholders: Thomas -Hill. J. Stewart Newell, Hugh S. Newell, W r . 
D Day, Robert P. Skeoch, Sr.. Frank W. Bailey. Wesley Taylor, E. A. 
Bartlett. Charles D. Richard, John Doe, Lincoln Avery, Nelson J. Fuehr, 
Elizabeth Bartlett, 'Paul R. Dinsmore and D. M. Dinsmore. The present 
officers are J. S. Newell, president; Thomas Hill and Van S. Reynolds, vice- 
presidents; S. M. Dinsmore, cashier; H. S. Newell, assistant cashier. The 
present directors are J. S. Newell, IT. S. Newell, P. R. Dinsmore, Thomas 
Hill, Van S. Reynolds. A. N. Shook. W. E. Arbogast and M. C. Arbogast. 
This bank has deposits at present aggregating $110,000. with a surplus of 


$5,000. The bank building was constructed of red brick at a cost of 
$4,172.50 and the fixtures, which amount to $2,200, are highly in keeping 
with the beautiful building. 


The Bank of Sheridan was organized on June 22, 1903, with D. II. 
Power and B. B. Power as the organizers and stockholders. The bank was 
under this direction, however, only until December, 1904, when another 
co-partnership was formed, which was composed of E. Burt Jenney and D. 
H. Power, one of the former owners. It was not destined to remain under 
this management, for in April, 1905, C. S. Jenny became the partner of E. 
Burt Jenny. Mr. Jenny then conducted this bank for many years and served 
his patrons well. It grew to be a very prosperous business, but finally it 
began to decline and in April, rQj 4, it passed into the hands of Slocum, Ealy 
&' Hudson, the present owners of the bank. All are experienced bankers. 
Mr. Ealy is a member of the Ealy-McNair Company of Clare, Michigan, 
who own and operate many banks in the "Thumb" of Michigan. Mr. Hud- 
son is manager of the firm's banks and cashier of the Peoples State Bank, 
Middleton, Michigan. Mr. Slocum is the founder of the Gleaner Order 
with headquarters at Detroit. The present capital stock is $12,000 with a 
personal responsibility of more than $100,000. The bank building is con- 
structed of veneered brick at a cost of $4,000, and the fixtures, which are 
of quartered oak and marble, are valued at $2,000. The business of the 
bank has grown steadily and rapidly since the new owners have stood at the 
helm The officers now serving this bank are: Grant H. Slocum, presi- 
dent; John M. Ealy. vice-president; John P. Hudson, cashier, and Burt C. 
Crawford, assistant cashier. 


Idle Bank of Butternut was organized in 1907 by J. J. Phelps, now of 
Stanton, Michigan, who sold it to Slocum, Ealy & Hudson on September 1, 
1909. The new firm built a modern building in the summer of 1913, and 
equipped it with modern furniture, fine screw-door, 'burglar-proof safe, and 
an electrical burglar-proof vault made by the American Bank Protection 
Company. The building is brick, substantially built, well finished and 
affording conveniences for the public. It is managed as a private bank and 
ha^ a very flourishing business. They have a capital stock of $15,000, with 


a personal responsibility of more than $100,000, and deposits of almost 
$100,000. Grant TI. Slocutn is the president of this bank. John M. Ealy, 
and John R. Hudson are the vice-presidents, Claire C. Reynolds the cashier, 
and 1. M. Merrifield is the assistant cashier. 


The State Bank of Crystal was organized on August. 6, 1915. and 
opened for business November 3, with a capital stock of $20,000. The fol- 
lowing named persons comprised the list of shareholders: Edward C. Cum- 
mings. Ira Cummings. fames I). Smith. Joseph M. Lascelle, James II. Steere. 
I 'Id ward A. Durkee. Cornelius I)e Young. William B. Frisbie, Milo Strait, 
Renelds B. Noll. Herbert Bowen. Thomas j. M.cCrackeu, Laura II. Cum- 
mings. Minnie J. Cummings, Zacharias D. Rule, Charles L. Kimball. Will- 
iam S. George, Job Reynolds, Rayburn B. Smith. Lucy Kimball, l : red Kim- 
ball. Fred T. Kimball, and Marchand J. McConkie. R. B. Smith was 
elected president; F. T. Kimball. \'ice-president ; E. C. Cummings and Ira 
Cummings. directors, and C. M. Granger, cashier. This bank is the suc- 
cessor to the Bank of Crystal and its correspondent banks are the Chase 
National Bank, of New York City, and the State Bank, of Carson Citv. 


The Commercial Savings Bank of Lakeview was organized on July 1 , 
1905, with C. M. Northrop and F. M. Northrop. The original capital stock 
of this bank was $15,000, with responsibilities of $40,000. C. M. Northrop 
was the first president and has served the bank in that capacity ever since 
the organization. F. M. Northrop has held the office of cashier for an 
equal length of time. The deposits of this bank according to the last state- 
ment were $65,000. with a surplus of $15,000. The present building was 
erected at a cost of $4,000. 


The Fdmore State Bank was organized on April 5, 1897, with a capital 
stock of $r 5.000. John \Y. Pfeifler. Frederick Neft. Sherman Nefif. Henry 
J. Burch and E. A. Rundell were the organizers of this bank and the first 
stockholders. The first officers were John W. Pfeifler, president; Frederick 
Neff. vice-president: Sherman Neff, vice-president; E. A. Rundell, cashier. 


The original capital stock of $15,000 has never been changed. The present 
officers are John \Y. TfeirYer, president; Sherman Neff, Henry J. T3urch and 
E. K. Morton, vice-presidents; Sorenus D. Ketchnm, cashier. The last 
statement of this bank shows deposits amounting to $155,000, with a surplus 
of S 10,000. Mr. Ffeiiler has served as the president of this bank for eigh- 
teen years and it is one of the strong financial institutions of this part of 
the county at the present time. The present location is in a one-story brick- 
building in the village of Edmore. 


The Trufant Exchange Hank was organized and established in 1907 
as a private bank with Carl F. Hansen as proprietor. The deposits of this 
bank amount to about $100,000 at the present time. This bank is still under 
the proprietorship of Mr. Hansen and is on a strong financial basis. 


The banners and Merchants State "Hank was incorporated in the village 
of "Lake-view, October 24. 190J. for $25,000. The shareholders of this bank- 
were: Lars I*. Sorenson, John S. Weidman, John J. Rale, John W. Kirt- 
land, Robert Edgar, George E. liumiston, James Fontaine, Chester Stebbins. 
Solomon Ghtleman, Melvin Hull, John D. Morton. John H. Jenson, August 
Keppe. Charles F. French, John Wandell. Wallace Edgar, Jonathan Tribe, 
Frank E. Moore and Salem F. Kennedy. 


The Hank of Vestaburg was started as a private bank on January 4, 
1909 by the Wallace & Orr Company, of Bay Fort, Michigan, as the organ- 
izers. The stockholders at that time were William J. Orr, of Bay Fort, 
Michigan; William II. Wallace, of Saginaw, Michigan; George Billbrough. 
of Remus. Michigan. Ed. C. Cramer at that time was the cashier, and 
remained as such until February 1, 1914. The State Bank of Vestaburg 
took over the holdings of the Bank of Vestaburg and their charter was 
granted. May 2, rc;ir. The capital stock was $20,000. The first officers 
tor the present organization were William J. Orr, president; William IT. 
Wallace, vice-president; Edward C. Cramer, cashier. The directors were 
George Bilbrough, Edward Cramer, Andrew W. Orr and E. J. Orr. The 


present capital stock is $20,000, with a surplus of $3,300. The present 
officers are as follow: William J. Orr, president; George Bilbrough, vice- 
president; Thomas I). Meddick, cashier, and the directors are Andrew \V. 
Orr, E J. Orr. W. J. Orr. George Bilbrough and Thomas 1). Meddick. 


The Carson City State Bank was organized on March 15, 1887. E. 
C. Cummings. J. \V. llallett, E A. Roekafellow, S. TT. Caswell. Joshua 
Tennant, Irvin McCall, Charles Cross, B. Erank Sweet, C. R. Dickinson. 
William 11. Brace. S. S. Walker, E. E. White, Edwin R. Banton were the 
organizers and first stockholders of this bank which was organized with, a 
capital stock of $50,000. The first president and cashier was E. C. Cum- 
mings. and he has served as president ever since. Samuel S. Walker was 
vice-president, and the first directors were J. W. llallett, E. C. Cummings, 
K A. Roekafellow, S. S. Walker. C. R. Dickinson, Joshua Tennant, E. P. 
Waldron. S. 11. Caswell and E. k. Banton. John W. llallett is the present 
vice-president; 'Ira Cummings. cashier: and J. W. llallett. J. P. Taylor, H. 
G. Sessions. E. D. Lyons. W. A. Crabb. Isaac Krohn, G. TT. Patterson, E. 
C. Cummings and Ira Cummings the present directors. In April, t8(>8, the 
capital stock was reduced to $25,000, but at a meeting of the shareholders 
in August, 1912, it was decided to increase it to $50,000 again and that is 
the present capital stock. The last statement of this bank shows deposits 
amounting to $396,500, with a surplus of $10,000. The present location 
of this bank is in a two-story brick building at the corner of Alain and Divi- 
sion streets, valued at $4,000 and the fixtures at $1,441. 


Neffs Bank of McBride, Michigan, was established on October 5, 
J 904, by krederick Neff. Louis Xeff and Sherman Xeff, co-partners. Sher- 
man Xeff was appointed cashier and Jacob M. Xeff, assistant cashier, which 
relations have continued to the present, time. 


Loans and discounts $ 44,754.92 

Peal estate mortgages and securities 72,167.08 

Due from banks, reserve cities 2T, 768.97 


Cash on hand and certificates with other banks- _ 13,887.24 
Furniture 419.00 


Commercial deposits . $ 46,090.90 

Time certificates of deposit 83.662.24 

Savings deposits (hook accounts) 8,787.20 

Capital and surplus 10,859.49 

Undivided profits 3i597-3§ 



The Fanners and Merchants State Bank of Carson City, Michigan, 
was organized in the fall of 1914, by F. B. Stebbins. Mr. Stebbins was 
formerly a furniture manufacturer located in Lakeview, where he had been 
a resident prior to the organization of the bank. The articles of association 
of the bank were accepted by the State Hanking Department on December 
18, JQL|. The first, meeting of the stockholders was held in Carson City. 
January 2. T915, at. which time the following board of directors was chosen: 
William F. Adams. Charles H. Adams. George Walt, Michael Kipp, C. F. 
Straight. Charles Burkholder and F. B. Stebbins. The officers of the bank 
are William F. Adams, president; George Walt, vice-president; F. P>. Steb- 
bins. cashier: C. F. Straight, assistant cashier. This bank began business 
in temporary quarters in the Caswell block. February 1.9, 1915. Plans for 
a new bank building were accepted and same was completed and occupied 
in September following. The building" is modern in its arrangements, with 
rest room for women and assembly room for men. both with lavatories and 
toilets. Safe deposit vault with private booths and telephone. Building- 
made of cut stone and shale brick, located on the corner of Main and Mer- 
cantile streets. Bank has a paid-in capital of $25,000 and deposits at this 
time well over $100,000. 



J n J 879 William 15. Wells founded the first daily newspaper in Mont- 
calm county. Tt was called the Daily A'rrw, and the first issue. which was 
only nine by twelve inches in size, was struck off on a small press, June ig, 
j 870. In 1 88 1 the name was changed to the Daily Call, under which name 
it is now circulated to the i.too subscribers. The present size is four pages, 
six columns, and the equipment of the plant is complete. Mr. Wells has 
published the paper continuously since 1879, and besides building- an excel- 
lent city circulation in Greenville he has added a substantial list of sub- 
scribers upon the rural free deliveries immediately surrounding the citv. 


The Montcalm Reflector, the first newspaper published in Montcalm 
county, was established at Greenville by Milo Blair. It was a six-column 
folio, neutral politically, and the first number was issued on September 19, 
18^4. As a semi-occasional visitant it appeared irregularly for about two 
years, when it was purchased by J. M. Fuller, who changed it from a neutral 
to a Republican journal, and from the Montcalm Reflector to the Grcen- 
-ijlle Independent, which name it has since borne. 

Mr. [Miller after a short time sold the paper to George T. Woodworth. 
who published it for a brief period, until his death. His widow then con- 
ducted the paper ably tor some time, but was finally succeeded by James W. 
Belknap, who gave it added character. In February. 1866, F. F. Grabill. 
purchased and assumed control of it. Under his management the paper 
has since kept pace with the rapid development of the county and com- 
munity in which it is published. 

From a seven-column folio it has successfully developed into an eight- 
column folio and ending in its present form, a six-column quarto. From 
an office in 1866 where the proprietor was everything from devil up, it has 
become a steam printing house, its paper printed on a cylinder press, and its 
jobber also run by steam power. It has a reputation at home and abroad 


of which its publisher is proud, and it ranks high among the country news- 
papers of the state. 


The first number of the Greenville Democrat, D. B. Sherwood, pub- 
lisher, appeared on June 16, 187 1 . It was Democratic for a time, but as 
Montcalm county was strongly Republican, it did not flourish exceedingly 
well, hence it was changed to an independent sheet. At the commencement 
of the Greeley presidential campaign the Democrats of Montcalm again felt 
die need of an organ, and assisted by them, J. "Wesley Griffith purchased 
the paper and forthwith began the publication of a Democratic sheet of the 
most pronounced type. 

On the 1st of January, 1878. the Democrat passed into the hands of 
the Democrat Printing Company, and enjoyed a liberal and steadily increas- 
ing patronage. Its reputation as an able political (Democratic) and live 
local journal was well established. It was printed by steam, in connection 
with the Daily Bee. and had a large and complete job office. In size it was 
a si\'-coluum quarto. 

The Doily Dee, an independent live-column folio, was first issued on 
April 18, 1880. It was devoted mainly to local news, and enjoyed a circu- 
lation of nearly six hundred copies. 

By B. E. Avery. 

Milo Blair came to the then village of Greenville in 1854 and that fall 
started the Montcalm Reflector and the first issue made its appearance on 
September 19 of that year. Beside pursuing his duties as editor and pub- 
lisher Blair found time to study law and was admitted to the bar in 1856. 
Upon his admission to the bar he sold the Reflector to Joseph M. Puller, 
who changed the name to the (ircenville Independent and injected a strong 
sentiment of Republicanism into its columns. Mr. Fuller felt that he was 
not born to be an editor and sold the paper to George T. Woodworth on 
April 20, iS^S, who published it but a short time before his death which 
occurred on December 27. t86o. His widow, who afterward became Mrs. 
N. Slaght, conducted the paper with signal ability but finally on May 30, 
1862, sold the paper to James W. Belknap who gave it considerable local 
prominence and later sold it to the late E. F. Grabill on February 20, 1866, 
who for more than forty-six years was the proprietor, editor and publisher 


of the Independent. His eventful life came suddenly to an end on April 4, 

The history of the Independent would be only half complete without a 
word regarding the life and wonderful work of this long-time editor, lie 
was born on June 16, 1837, in Millsboro, Pennsylvania. His life was the 
life of many a poor boy, but in that boy's breast was a courageous and 
never-waning determination to gain an education. His choice of college 
was Oberlin and it was in that school he began his education. The second 
year in school found him barkening to the call of his country and in 1861 
he volunteered in that memorable struggle. When his duties to his country- 
were ended he came to Greenville and purchased the Independent where be 
continued without interruption of residence until the end. His life was a 
clean open book, lie served his community well and left a record as a man 
and an editor that mav well be emulated by all who come afterward. 

Carl E. (irabill, ably assisted by his talented wife. Josephine J). Grabill, 
took up the work and continued it until the plant was purchased by a stock 
company that took possession on September 14. 19 14. The stockholders 
and incorporators were .Mrs. J. D. Grabill, T. R. Winter. X. O. Griswold, 
K. A. Kemp, C. P. Pardon, I.). 1). Dilley, "U. J. Tower, C. (.). Jenison, 
(.'harks II. Gibson, C. J. Drummond, E. S. Clark and Rrvant E. Averv. 
At the election of officers. Rrvant E. Avery was elected president and gen- 
eral manager and assumed the position of editor. Charles H. Gibson was 
elected vice-president, and Mrs. J. 1). Grabill, secretary and associate editor. 
The same organization continues at the present time except that Mrs. (irabill 
retired on September 14. 1915. and was succeeded by Carl E. Grabill as 


Stanton's first newspaper, the M ontealin Herald, was established by 
Edwin O. Shaw, and the first number appeared on September ti, 1867. 
Air. Shaw continued in control of the paper until November 15. ]868, when 
Edwin R. Powell purchased it, assuming personal control on Christmas dav 
of that year. The Herald was started as a six-column folio, but before it 
passed from the control of Mr. Shaw he had enlarged it to seven columns. 
This size was continued until the fall of T874, when Mr. Powell changed it 
to a six-column quarto. He again enlarged it to a seven-column quarto in 
1878. On the morning of October 12. 1880, by a conflagration which 


devastated a large part of the business portion of Stanton village, the Herald 
office, with nearly all of its material, was burned, including the files of the 
Herald, also of the Ionia Gazette, Mr. Powell's loss being about three thou- 
sand dollars. 

The Stanton Daily Meteor, E. R. Powell & Son, publishers, was first 
issued on June t8, t88o. It was a three-column folio, but its publication 
was discontinued after a period of about three months. 

The Montcalm Journal, a Republican six-column quarto, was started 
at Stanton by J. K. Fairchild in September. 1875. Its publication was con- 
tinued for a period of only about eighteen months. 

The Stanton Weekly Clipper, an independent Journal, was established 
by William White in T879, the first number appearing on September 19, of 
that year, .ft began as a four-column folio, but at the expiration of six 
months P. S. Dodge bought an interest in the paper and it was enlarged 
to a seven-column folio. Two or three years later Mr. White disposed of 
his interest to Mr. Dodge, who continued to publish the Clipper until 1894, 
when he sold the paper to X. W. Xewhouse and IT. D. TisdaJe. This 
co-partnership existed for two years, when Mr. Newhouse became sole 
owner and the political complexion of the paper became Republican. In 
1905 the Clipper was enlarged to a six-column quarto. 

On March 15. T913, Mr. Newhouse purchased the good will and sub- 
scription list of the Montcalm Herald (that paper having lost its plant by 
lire on February r6. 19.13) and the two papers were merged under the name 
of the Stanton Clipper-Herald. Shortly afterward Mr. Newhouse formed 
a co-partnership with P. A. Carothers. and they are the present publishers. 


The first newspaper published in Coral made its initial appearance in 
1875. -It w 'is christened the Coral Enterprise and was edited and owned by 
John J. Taylor. Only a few issues were gotten out and only one copy is 
known to exist at the present time and that hangs in a frame in the office 
of the Coral News. 

The best history of the Coral News is found in the paper of that name 
and was published on January 28, 1915. The occasion for this story was 
the birthday anniversary of the paper and was written by the editor, Fred 
U. O'Brien. The article follows : 

"Eighteen years ago the middle of last summer ye editor was dismissed 
from the services of the Morley Tribune because the publisher of that paper 


was not making enough money to pay our wages. For several months fol- 
lowing that: your humble servant was 'on the hog' and go where we would 
and try as hard as one may it was impossible to secure a job. We were not 
alone in that predicament; there were thousands in the same boat and if 
misery enjoyed company we had lots of it. It was the panic, of '<)3-'97- 
As a last desperate attempt to make a living we conceived the idea of start- 
ing a newspaper in Coral. A mention of the thought to several met with a 
hearty response and advertising and subscription contracts sufficient to 
guarantee the venture were signed up. 

'T'eing busted and having no friends who were in position to advance 
us the money to launch, it made the wheels in our head go some to raise 
the necessary cash. A widow at Shepard had inherited a small printing 
outfit from her husband's estate, which she offered to sell on very liberal 
terms. To get the money to make the first payment of $75 was what was 
sticking us. We went to first one and then another to get them to back our 
paper for Si 00 for ninety days. The subscription and ad contracts we bad 
were mighty poor collateral but was the only thing we had to offer. Having 
been a fairly respectable boy and young man stood us in good hands in this 
time of need. The late I Ion. F. F. Church had been our Sunday school 
.superintendent and had evidently gotten a favorable impression of us for 
he backed the note that gave us a boost. After securing the monev we bor- 
rowed a wagon from the late Thomas Fain, another horse from W. R. Wright 
and a wagon from the late Robert Owen. Putting the three together we 
drov.' across country to Shepard, where we closed the deal with Airs. Hurst 
for the printing outfit. We got that plant into Coral Friday night, January 
_'j, 1K97. and the next Thursday. January 28, issued the first copv of The 

"Fverytlnug and everybody was on the. hog in these days. Potatoes 
were selling for seven to thirteen cents a bushel; corn was ten cents a crate; 
beans were fifty cents a bushel: good dry beech and maple wood, seventy- 
five cents and a one dollar a cord; eggs seven cents a dozen and butter ten 
cents a pound. We took everything and anything on subscription and man- 
aged to get bold of enough money to pay our bills and in seventy-five days 
payed the note Mr. Church had so kindly endorsed. 

'AVe will have to relate the interest that good gentleman took in our 
progress. He liyed on the farm where his son Frank now. resides and made 
Coral his marketing place. Whenever he came to town he would stop in to 
see how we were getting along. We always told him it was going fine but 
did not tell him that every extra dollar we got hold of went to the Howard 


City bank to reduce that note. Tt was one beautiful day the first part of 
A| ril we met Mr. Church in front of where Chappie & Skeoch's office is 
now located that he took us by the hand and inquired as to how we were 
g'etting along'. Proud as a boy with a pair of new boots we took the note 
he had indorsed out of our pocket and showed it to him. We will never 
forget, his congratulations. Tie said: 'Allow me to congratulate you, Fred. 
This is the first note I have indorsed the past ten years I haven't had to 
renew from one to ten times, and some I have had to pay.' 

"We took so much wood on subscription one would of thought we were 
running a woodward instead of a newspaper. Having lots of room in the 
second story of the house we occupied we filled it with corn on subscription 
at ten cents a crate. Prank Johnson brought in two bushels of beans to pay 
for a year's subscription. William A. Blanding brought in a sack of Hour 
and Hour looked so good to your humble servant then that we find we made 
an item of it in the first issue. Tu thirteen months we handed Mrs. Hurst 
the balance due on the outfit. 

"The paper has passed through all the trials and tribulations of the aver- 
age country journal and has had its part in many questions of public inter- 
est. One question we are most proud to have entered the Xczcs has been 
that of Temperance. The paper helped blaze the trail for the success of the 
temperance cause in this county. Whether it got credit for that or not is 
of matter of little concern to us. Ft has helped nominate and elect candi- 
dates for public favor and assisted in defeating others. The entrance of 
the AVtcw in the light for the temperance cause brought the combined efforts 
of the liquor traffic and its sympathizers to put it out of business. A boy- 
cott was declared hut what has happened to the boycotters is a matter of 
history with which our readers are well acquainted. Several in other lines 
of business then selling wet goods discontinued their ads, failed in business 
to the 'jag' cure and went other ways that too close an association with 
the cup that cheers ( v ) takes men. 

"We have damned Grover Cleveland's big panic high and low many 
times and it never dawned on us until very recently that probably it was the 
best thing that ever came along for we might still be working as a journey- 
man printer had conditions not developed as they did. The little we made 
during the intervening years we will have to credit to this paper. The con- 
tinuing of the Xrics is nowhere near as essential to our well being now as 
it was at that time. Those who have dammed it up hill and down, did everv- 
thing they could to put us in the bone-yard, have our profound sympathy. 
They could have employed themselves better with a greater degree of sue- 


cess. To the friends who have ever stood loyally by the paper we owe a debt 
of platitude." 


The Hoivard City Record was first established by Wayne E. Morris, 
the first copy coming from the press on August T/, 1872. It was first pub- 
lished as a four-page folio. The paper has never changed name and has 
had an important part in the development of its field. 

From time to time improvements have been added which now bring 
it into the class of the best weekly newspapers in the state. It is now an 
eight-page, seven-column quarto, printed all at home. The Record was the 
second paper in Montcalm county to add power to its equipment and now 
has one of the finest plants to be found in a town of the same size, its 
circulation has grown to 1,400 copies circulated weekly and it maintains 
one of the cleanest subscription lists extant. 

After about two years, the paper passed into the hands of V. W. Bruce, 
a trenchant writer, and an abolitionist of the first water. In about 1877 
James IT. Ilallack became its editor and three years later sold it to Ed E. 
Smith, who in turn sold it to Berry J. Lowrey in 1885. Mr. Lowrey was 
the sole owner and proprietor until January 1, 1903, and under his able 
management the paper made great strides forward. On this date he sold 
a half interest to James B. Haskins. a Howard City young man, who had 
been associated with Mr. Lowrey for some three years. The firm was con- 
ducted under the name of Lowrey & Haskins for three years and three 
months, Mr. Haskins assuming entire control on April t, 1906. Since 
that time the paper has been strengthened and improved until it has reached 
an enviable position among the papers of the county and state. 

The Record is Republican in politics and has always subscribed itself 
to the best interests of that party. On several occasions it has been active 
in seeking to purify local and county conditions and has been mainly suc- 
cessful. Tt never enjoyed more influence than at the present time and is 
considered by the press at large to be a model country weekly. The Record 
has lent itself strongly in the past few years to the cause of community 
development and has been mOst interested in serving its own immediate 
territory in every way possible, promoting every legitimate enterprise and 
making a feature of circulating modern and approved "better farming" 



The first newspaper printed in Edmore was started by a Mr. Harrison., 
This began in iS/S — about the time the town was started — and existed for 
about two years, when it finally eeased for lack of support. This was a six- 
or se\ en-column folio and was published weekly. 

The Rdmoic Journal was brought forth in the village of Edmore on 
September J, 1879, by Dan Youngs. Mr. Youngs was editor and proprie- 
tor of the paper, which at that time was a five-column quarto, until Febru- 
ary, 1883. when it passed into the hands of William White. Mr. White, 
being a man of newspaper experience, soon placed the Journal on a firm 
basis and it began to be a part of the village of Edmore. It was run under 
this editorship for sixteen years, or until .1899, when it was purchased by 
A. X. Demon, who was ex-county school commissioner. Mr. Demory 
being a man inexperienced in the newspaper field, soon saw that he was not 
adapted for this line of work and sold it to J. I\. Warren, after serving as 
its editor for only eight months. Mr. Warren published the Journal from 
that time until the final copy was issued, March 28, 1908. At that time it 
was a six-column quarto. Mr. Warren gave as his reason for closing out 
the business the passing of the law which does not ]>ermit country news- 
papers to send paper at pound rate to subscribers who are more than one- 
year in arrears. Thus closed a very important chapter in the newspapers 
of Montcalm county. 

The l-'.dmorc Tijiics. which is the only active paper in Edmore at the 
present time, began its career on April 1, 1908. This paper was launched 
bv William White, who has continued editor since its establishment. It 
foimerlv was published on Saturday as an eight-column folio but later was 
changed to a six-column <|uarto. published on Eriday. Mr. White has been 
one of the chief boosters of Edmore, and through the columns of the 
Idincs, the interests of Edmore are always heralded. The Times has an 
actual circulation of 800 copies, and besides a fully-equipped electric news- 
paper plant also has an up-to-date job printing department, which is one 
of the largest in the county. 


Idle first newspaper published in Eakeview. called the Lakcvicw Citi- 
zen, was established by Rev. C. J. Massey, January 21, 1876. Its publica- 


tion was continued for two years, when it was given up. A year later 
Thomas Rogers established the present paper, the Lakcvieiu Enterprise, and 
the first issue was distributed on July 2, 1879. It has changed hands many 
times. Mr. Rogers was the editor until 1888, when he sold it to Clarence 
('. (iilleo, but he remained in charge only until 1896. when he sold it to 
L 1). TTaviland. Then a co-partnership was formed, consisting of F. E. 
Moore and Lerov Stebbins, in T902. Stebbins retired from the firm of 
Stebbins & Moore about three years later. Moore published the paper until 
September 1. iQio, when it was purchased by the present publisher. Harry 
C. Tlolmes. Mr. Holmes gets out a very interesting paper, with a circula- 
tion of 700 copies a week. It has grown to be a six-column, eight-page 
paper. At first it was only a five-column, four-page. The plant is fur- 
nished complete, having both publishing and job equipment, and takes a 
leading part in the business and development of the community. 


The first issue of the Crystal Mail was published on January 18. 1900. 
It was founded by W. T.. LaDu and F. T. Massey, who had charge of it 
for three weeks, when it went into the hands of George J. LaDu and \Y. L. 
LaDu. They published the paper about nine months, when the present 
owner and publisher. (\ YY. LaDu. purchased the business and has since 
conducted the same. The circulation is good, Mr. LaDu printing and send- 
ing out 650 to 675 copies a week. The paper was at first a six-column folio, 
but has since grown to be a six-column quarto. The equipment of the plant 
is excellent, having installed up-to-date machinery and all possible conven- 
iences. Mr. I.aDu owns the building, which was erected expressly for the 
business. This paper takes a leading part in business and political historv of 
its community, and is a power for good. Its editor is ever alive to the best 
interests of the people, and always ready and willing to champion their 


The McBridc licrieiv was founded by W. (\ Shannon, and the first 
issue was sent out on December L}, T893. The first paper was only nine by 
sixteen inches, but now it is a six-column quarto. Mr. W. C. Shannon 1's 1 
still the editor and gets out a very interesting paper, which has a circula- 
tion of .180 copies per week — a goodly number for a small town. The plant 


is fully equipped for doing newspaper and job work. Mr. Shannon is a 
hustler and has made his paper a power for good in his community. 


Along back in the seventies there was a man by the name of Arms who. 
started a paper in Carson City. Dick Arms, who came up there from Port- 
land, having worked on the Portland Observer, and wanted to branch out 
in life for himself, started the paper. I do not know what he called it, but 
1 can remember seeing an old heading around the shop with the word 
"Commercial" on it. Well, things were too warm for Dick, so he sold to 
Julian Xcwmaii, another Portland boy, and also a pupil of the Observer 
office. Newman lasted quite a while. He had a thousand dollars and it 
had to be spent. Newman changed the name of the paper and did some 
other stunts to try to make it live. But he got swamped and the property 
got into the hands of George Stone, then a lawyer of that town. Stone had 
no use for a newspaper plant, so lie looked for a purchaser. This time it 
was a man by the name of C. P. Hager, another Portland printer, and also 
a graduate of the Observer. It was in 1883 that Hager went to Carson 
City and started to make his fortune. He changed the name of the paper 
to the Bee, and started right out with a red hot political sheet. He took 
the Republican side, and got every Democrat in the town against him right 
on the start. 

That was the condition as 1 found it when I landed in Carson City via 
stage from Pewamo on the 1st of November, T884. 1 worked for Hager 
for nearly two years, at the end of which time 1 bought him out. The office 
was then located in the second story of the Cummings building, and the 
equipment was not very great.. \n order to keep up with my predecessors 
and also because I did not like to be called the "Buzzard," I, too, changed 
the name of the paper. It took me a week to settle that name, and that 
was in 1886. and I am glad to see it a sticker. But I must not forget to sav 
in this bit of history that 1. too, was from Portland and also a type slinger 
in the Observer office. I '"our of us went the same road to a certain extent. 
July 1. i8<)o. 1 sold the property to A. L. Bemis, who was then teaching 
school in Nashville, Michigan. 

The improvement in the Gazelle has. T think, kept up with the times 
and the town. When 1 bought it the sheet was printed on a little armv 
press, one page at a time. It was a seven-column folio, two pages printed 
at home. I enlarged it to a five-column quarto, four pages printed at home. 


Xow you have a six-column quarto, and it is nicely printed and a very wel- 
come caller. It is the wish of the writer to see the Gazette live long- and 
prosper, as we cannot help but have a soft spot in our heart for the enter- 
prise that we helped put upon the ma]) of commercial industry and guided it 
through its first years of existence. 

The above is written bv former lulitor C. G. Bailey, who is now 
employed on the Beldinu Banner, and who sold the Gazette to A. L. Bemis, 
who died on August 5, 1912. 

II. K. Cowdin purchased the Carson City Gazette on July 1, 191 1 . 
Mr. Cow-din's father. C. .11. Cowdin, established the Rockford (Michigan) 
Register in 1871, which paper his brother. C. R. Cowdin, took charge of in 
1883. owing to the father's ill health. Tie left it in 1889 to establish the 
Belding (Michigan) Banner. 11. K. Cowdin took the management of the 
Register ami conducted it until September, 1910. Mr. Cowdin. when he 
began editing the Register, was but eighteen years old. This paper was 
conducted bv the Cowdin family for nearly forty years. 

The Gazette is a good newspaper property and is better equipped than 
an ordinary office in towns the size of Carson City and even larger. It has 
an average; subscription list which has been increased over 200 in the past 
two years and a half and is still growing. 

Mr. Cowdin issues special holiday numbers each year and frequently 
is obliged to use twelve pages for his paper. The paper has a fine adver- 
tising patronage from the home merchants, which shows their appreciation 
of its quality. It is a fine example of a successful weekly paper, conducted 
with care and foresight and made valuable by its high quality, which meets 
the approval of all its readers. The Gazette has practicallv always used the 
Western Newspaper Union Service. 



The medical profession in Montcalm county has invariably been char- 
acterized by that high regard for the demands of a great profession, one 
which more closely, perhaps, than any other calling touches the lives of a 
people. The physician comes into the home at a time when the human heart 
is most susceptible to the sympathies and the tenderness of loving trust and 
confidence. The art of healing comprises not only the technical knowledge 
and skill of the scientist, but the human and intimate ministrations that are 
ahove and beyond the reach of science. 

The physicians of Montcalm count}', from the days when the resources 
of the county were undeveloped, roads wanting and population sparse, have 
labore d quite unselfishly for the most part to fulfill their high mission as 
comforters in the hours of distress. As the county has grown in wealth 
and population, physicians have settled here in greater numbers. Their skill 
today far surpasses that of those good men who ministered to an earlier 
generation, but. generally speaking, the devotion of the profession has not 
changed. The same high sense of honesty and the same rigid standard of 
professional ethics prevail. Perhaps the professional standard is even 
higher today than ever before. Whether it is or not, Montcalm county 
physicians have always worked together in harmony. Professional jeal- 
ousies are little known. For a number of years they have gathered together 
several times each year as members of the Montcalm Medical Society. Before 
this society was organized there was the Union Medical Society of North- 
ern Michigan, with which many of the Montcalm county physicians were 
long affiliated. Certain members of this society living outside Montcalm 
county were made members of the Montcalm society, when the latter was 

The Montcalm County Medical Society was organized on September 
t~. T902. at a meeting of the physicians of the county held at Stanton, when 
the following physicians were enrolled as charter members : Doctors W. PL 
Belknap, S. M. Gleason, A. W. Nichols, PL L. Brower, C. O. Jenison, D. K. 
Black. C. S. Ludlurn. William H. Lester and John Avery, Greenville; L. S„ 


Crutscr and James Purdon, Edmore; William P. Gamber and N. E. Bach- 
man, Stanton; G. S. Townsend, Six Lakes; A. P. Culbertson, Yickeryville; 
I ; . E. Blanchard and J. T. Joslin, Lakeview; A. E. Savage. Gowen; R. H. 
Blaisdell, Sheridan, and C. C. Sayles, Eangston. 

At the first meeting of the society Dr. John Avery, of Greenville, and 
Dr. H. L. Bower, of Greenville, were elected president and secretary, 
respectively. Doctor Bower also acted as treasurer. Dr. N. E. Bachman 
was named first vice-president; Dr. E R. Blanchard, second vice-president; 
.Dr. George (.). Stanton, oi Belding, third vice-president, and Dr. L. S. 
Crotser, fourth vice-president. Doctor Bower continued to serve as secre- 
tary-treasurer of the society from year to year until r9 t 5 , when he was 
chosen president. Doctor Avery was re-elected president of the society in 
1903, and continued to act as president until the annual meeting of the 
society in 1909. when he was chosen president, emeritus of the society. At 
this time Dr. E R. Blanchard was elected president; Dr. J. O. Nelson, first 
vice-president; Dr. E M. Highfield, second vice-president; Dr. W. H. Belk- 
nap, third vice-president, and Dr. Walter A. Lee, fourth vice-president. Tn 
1910 Dr. J. O. Nelson succeeded Doctor Blanchard as president, and the 
first, second, third and fourth vice-presidents were Drs. E. M. Highfield, 
W r . IT. Belknap, XV. A. Lee and L. E. Kelsey. Tn 191 1 Dr. Walter A. Lee 
was elected president, and Drs. L. E. Kelsey, D. K. Black, A. W. Martin 
and M. E Danforth, first, second, third and fourth vice-presidents. Tn 
19 r 2 Dr. L. E. Kelsey was elected president, and Drs. D. K. Black, M. E. 
Danforth, A. B. Penton and A. J. Bower, vice-presidents. Tn 1913 Dr. D. 
K. Black, of Greenville, was elected president; Dr. James Purdon, of 
Edmore, vice-president, and Dr. Horace L. Bower, secretary: the offices of 
second, third and fourth vice-presidents having been abolished. The present 
officers of the society, elected at the annual meeting held on October 8, 
1914. at the Greenville city hall, are Dr. Horace L. Bower, president; Dr. 
M. E. Danforth, vice-president, and Dr. E. J. Eralick. secretary. 

The present members of the Montcalm County Medical Society are as 
follow: Drs. L. E. Braeev and W. A. Lee, Sheridan; E. P. Bruce, Trufant; 
L. E. Kelsey and H. N. Flexner, Lakeview; James Purdon, Edmore; J. O. 
Nelson and N. W. Miller, Howard City; A. B. Penton, Smyrna; R. B. 
Smith, Crystal; E. W. Bolio, Coral: A. E. Savage, A. S. Barr, C. O. Jeni- 
son. W. H. Lester, E. A. Johnson, D. K. Black, F. J. Fralick. H. L. Bower 
and A. J. Bower, Greenville; M. E. Danforth, Stanton; John R. Hansen. 
McBride, and G. S. Townsend, Six Lakes. Dr. A. W. Woodlmrn, of Entri- 
can, until recently a member of the society, has removed to Hastings. 



The earliest practitioner in the hamlet of Greenville was Dr. Thomas 
Green, brother of the founder of the city, who came from Chautauqua 
county, Xew York, in T845, < lll( l began his professional labors. His resi- 
dence, however, was brief. He speedily succumbed to the ravages of the 
ague, and returned to the Hast. Later years found him again a resident of 
Michigan, though not among the scenes of his early pioneer ex{>eriences. 

Dr. J. B. Chamberlain came from Macomb county in T850, and estab- 
lished himself as the second practitioner, and for a brief time was the only 
one in the primitive settlement. He remained until his death, in i860. 

Dr. Israel B. Richardson, a former resident of Ionia county, arrived 
in 1852, and remained several years in the practice of his profession. He 
subsequently moved to Saginaw, and there engaged in professional labor. 

Dr. \Y. E. Darwin closed his career as a practicing physician in Green- 
ville in 1852, having been for two years a resident of the place. 

Dr. II. E. Skinner arrived in 1851, and soon gained a lucrative prac- 
tice, which was continued until his death, in 1853. 

Dr. Comfort Slawson, a former resident of New York state, chose 
Greenville as a place of settlement in 1853. He remained many years, dur- 
ing which a large and successful practice was enjoyed. He later moved to 
Maple Valley, and died there. 

Dr. W. H. Ellsworth earl}- pursued his studies at Woodstock, Vermont, 
and completed the course in Montreal, Canada. At the solicitation of 
friends he made Greenville his home in 1855. His practice, which was large 
and successful, extended over a period of eight years, when failing health 
compelled a temporary residence in a more genial climate. His death 
occurred in the year 1864. 

Dr. J. B. Drummond was a graduate of the Albany, New York, Medi- 
cal College, and on the completion of his studies moved to Oakland countv, 
Michigan, where he engaged in practice. At the expiration of one year he 
came to Greenville, where he pursued his profession until failing health 
obliged him to relinquish it. His death occurred in 1876. 

Dr. E. Rogers came from Ohio to the city in 1864. He at once began 
the practice of medicine, which was continued until his death, in 1872. 

Dr. H. L. Bower studied his profession and was graduated at the 
Albany Medical College in 1864, becoming a resident of Greenville in 1865. 
He continued in practice until his removal from the city, in 1869. He 


returned in 1879. and is now actively engaged in professional work with 
his son. Dr. A. J. Bower. An extended sketch of Dr. H. I.. Bower appears 
in the biographical section of this volume. 

Dr. C. F. .Morgan, having graduated at the Yale Medical College, 
Xew Haven, in 1866, moved soon after to Mount Morris, New- York, where 
he followed his profession until his removal to Greenville, in 1868. For 
many years he was the surgeon for the old Detroit, Lansing & Northern 

Dr. James Mulhern was a graduate of the Detroit. Medical College, 
and after the completion of his studies moved to Lakeview. He came to 
Greenville in 1871. For a time he was in partnership with Dr. C. F. Mor- 

Dr. (). F. Merrick began his studies with Doctor Avery in Greenville, 
and completed them at the Albany Medical College in 1870. Me established 
himself in the city and continued in practice until his removal to Grand 
Rapids, in 1870. 

Dr. Aha \V. Xichols. a native of Michigan, made his advent in 1870, 
and began his studies with Doctors .Morgan and Mulhern. Tie graduated 
at the Pellevue Medical College in 1874 and later took a special course at 
the Xew York eye and ear infirmary, lie served as pension examiner for 
a time, as trustee of the Kalamazoo insane asylum, and in 1894 was the 
Populist candidate for governor, polling - six hundred and sixtv-two votes in 
Montcalm county and thirty thousand and twelve in the state of Michigan. 
Doctor Xichols died about 1910. 


Dr. John Avery was born in W'atertown, Xew York, February 29. 
1824, aiul came to Michigan in 1836. His father served in the War of 
18 12 Doctor Avery attended the district school in Chautauqua county, 
Xew York, and Clinton county. Michigan. He also studied a part of two 
years at the academy at Grass Lake, which was conducted bv the Rev. 
Hiram Flmer. In 1847 he began the study of medicine with Doctor 
\\'hale\ - . of Grass Fake, and in 1848 went to Duplain. continuing his studies 
for several months with Doctor Watson. He then attended a medical col- 
lege in Cleveland, Ohio, graduating from there in 1840, with the degree of 
Doctor of Medicine. Fie then moved to Owasso, Michigan, and entered 
into partnership with Dr. J. B. Barnes. In the spring of 1854 he moved to 
Tonia, where he practiced with Dr. D. W. Bliss. Then he moved to Otisco, 


and continued to practice until 1862, when he was appointed assistant sur- 
geon to the Twenty-first Michigan Infantry, and in the following year was 
promoted to the rank of surgeon, lie remained in the army until the close 
of the war. During the last year of the war he acted as brigade surgeon. 
Shcrtly after the war he moved to Greenville and made that his permanent 
home, in 1872 he erected a handsome brick store, renting the building for 
a drug store, and in 1875 he purchased the stock and engaged in the busi- 
ness himself. Tie was a member of the common council of Greenville, 
drawing its first charter, lie was a member of the Legislature, and was 
elected to congress in 1 802 and re-elected in T894. He was pension exam- 
iner for twenty-two years and supervisor for ten years. He was president 
of the Northern Medical Association and belonged to the Masonic fraternity. 
He was a member of the Kpiscopal church and senior warden of the church 
at Greenville. In Mav. 1852, he married Jane H. Fwell. daughter of Sam- 
uel Fwell, of Kemeo. Michigan, who was born on August 20. 1823. They 
had two sons and two daughters. The eldest son, Frank 1\. graduated at 
West Point, June, 1878, and served as lieutenant in the regular army. Doe- 
tor Avery died on January 21. 1913. Mrs. Avery died on December 21, 

Dr L. .!>. Lester studied and graduated at Geneva, New York, having 
come from the latter state to Greenville in 1868, where he established him- 
self in the practice of his profession. He died in 1913. His son. Dr. L. B. 
Lester, is a practicinig physician at Greenville. 

Dr F. Fish, the first practitioner of the homeopathic school at Green- 
ville, was a native of Wayne county, Xew York, and moved to Ohio in 
1853. He early became a pupil of Dr. David Shepard, of Geauga county, 
Ohio, and was later a student in the medical department of Willoughby 
University, i fe graduated from the Starling Medical College at Columbus, 
Ohio, in 1848. lie spent the winter of r 865-66 in attendance upon the 
Bellcvue and Charity hospitals. Xew York, and began the practice of medi- 
cine in Green vilK- in 1869, having previously been a student of the Homeo- 
pathic Medical College. Doctor Fish practiced medicine at Greenville for 
a number of years, and for a few years before his death, which occurred 
three or four vears ago, he was retired. 

Dr. T. M. Benedict was a graduate of the Detroit Homeopathic Col- 
lege, where he finished his course of study in T873. He moved from Oak- 
land county to Ionia county in 1865, and to Greenville in 1873. Later he 
moved to Ionia county and died there. 

Dr. L. A. Chaffee began the practice of -medicine in Greenville in r8/i. 


and with the exception of brief intervals of absence, was always a resident 
of Greenville. T]e belonged to the eclectic school of medicine. He prac- 
ticed medicine at Greenville until his death, about T912. 


Dr. Charles Ai. Martin was born at Portage. Wyoming county, New 
York, on July 4. 1830,. When he was five years of age the family moved to 
Akron, Ohio, where Charles remained until he was sixteen years of age, 
receiving such educational advantages as were offered by the common schools 
and the Akron Academy. Jn 1855 he came to Ionia county with his father's 
family, and while he lived (here he spent one year at the Agricultural Col- 
lege at Lansing. In 1861 he began the study of medicine with Doctor 
Do 1 ley, then attended the medical college at Ann Arbor, and afterward took 
a second course at the Bcllevue Medical College at New York, where he 
was graduated. Doctor Martin began the practice of medicine at Green- 
ville in the spring of 1864 and soon established a good practice. In 1867 
he formed a partnership with Doctor Avery, which continued until 1871, 
when he moved to I.ongmont. Colorado, on account of his failing health. 
Here he was elected president of the Chicago Colorado colony, and was also 
editor of the Longmont Press. After remaining one year, Doctor Martin 
had so far recovered his health that he returned to Greenville and resumed 
the practice of his profession. He was a member of the Union Medical 
Society of Northern Michigan, and also of the State Medical Society. Poli- 
tically. Doctor Martin is a Republican, lie cast his first vote for Abraham 
Lincoln, and has always remained an active member of that party. Doctor 
Martin was married. March 28. 1865, to Sarah E. Ecker, of Plesis, Jeffer- 
son county. New York, by whom he had three children. Some twenty years 
ago Doctor Martin removed to the state of Washington, where he now 
resides. When Doctor .Martin left the state, he sold his business to Dr. 
D Iv. Black-. 

Dr. (Iiarles Stuart Sheldon, long a practicing physician at Greenville, 
was a native of Oneida county. New York, where he was born on January 
14, 1842. He graduated from the Brockport Collegiate Institute in 1858, 
and a little later entered Phillips' Academy at Andover, Massachusetts, 
where he remained until the fall of 1859, when he entered Yale. There he 
was graduated in 1863, ranking forty-second in a class of more than two 
hundred. In yS6? he began the study of medicine at Buffalo, New York, 
in the medical department of Buffalo University. Pie graduated in 1867, 


with the degree of Doctor of Medicine, and afterwards attended lectures at 
the New York College of Physicians and Surgeons, where he was also 
graduated in t868. After practicing three years at Winona, Minnesota, 
Doctor Sheldon removed to Greenville, in January, 1872. where he con- 
tinued to practice for many years. He was married on October 30, 1868, 
to Emma L. Hodge, of Buffalo, by whom several children were born. He 
was a Republican, and a member of the Congregational church. Many years 
ago Doctor Sheldon removed to Madison, Wisconsin. 

Dr. Seymour A. Woodworth was born in Michigan in 1869. In later 
years he was graduated from Hahneman Medical College, of Chicago. He 
also attended the University of Michigan. He was an examining physician 
of the Knights of Maccabees and Woodmen lodges at Greenville for some 

Dr. Duncan K. Black was born in Canada in t86i and attended the 
Michigan College of Medicine at Detroit, where he was graduated in 1886. 
In 1893 he took a post-graduate course at the New York Post Graduate 
School. He has been a resident of Greenville since t8qo. 

Dr. J. B. Daniels was one of the two men who laid out the village of 
Six Lakes. Doctor Daniels became a prominent resident of the village and 
practiced there for many years. 


Dr. Roswell R. Edwards was born in 1824 in Chenango county. New 
York, where he spent his early years, later moving to Cuyahoga county, 
Ohio, where for a time he taught school. He was educated for the medical 
profession in Cleveland, Ohio, and was the first physician to locate in Bush- 
nell township and among the first in Montcalm county. He was married in 
Cleveland to Elizabeth Gleason, daughter of Jeremiah D. Gleason and sister 
of Artemus Gleason, for many years a resident of Bushnell township. About 
two years after her marriage the first wife died, leaving one son, Austin M., 
now of Buffalo, New York. In the spring of 1852 Doctor Edwards, in 
company with his brother-in-law, came to Bushnell, settling on part of sec- 
tion:- 18 and 1 9. He soon returned temjxmirily to Cleveland, where, in 
July, 1853, he was married to Adelia B. Hall, daughter of Simeon and 
"Luanda Daly Hall, and who returned with him to the wilderness home in 
Michigan. Seven children were born to this union, Clarence C, Ada 
Eugenia, Francis L., E. Burnside, Paul V., E. Frances and Fred L. For 
about ten years ensuing he practiced his profession, heeding every call for 


help, white man and red man alike, Chief John Wahasis, of the Chippewa 
Indians, being counted among- his patients; continually enduring the hard- 
ships and privations of a new and sparsely inhabited country. Jle then 
retr.rncd to Cleveland, taking his family, where he renewed his professional 
labors and remained until the close of 1864. when he returned to Bushnell, 
again to care for the health of his old friends and neighbors, and was wel- 
comed home by manv glad hands. .For a number of years prior to his death, 
in addition To his home office and practice, he and Dr. A. L. Corey became 
associated and maintained an office at Stanton. He was physician for the 
Detroit, Lansing & Northern Railroad Company, during the construction of 
the Stanton branch and for some years after. Ffe was a member of the 
Masonic fraternity for many years and took an active part in educational 
matters, serving as school inspector and member of the district board. He 
served continuously as health officer until June 3, T890, when death ended 
his useful career. lie was justly popular in his profession, exceptionally 
gifted in some of its branches, being not only an able physician but also 
possessed of a genial manner and honesty of purpose which won friends in 
all walks of life. in the earl}' days Doctor Fdwards encountered many 
impediment: that did not fall to the lot of later practitioners; yet bv his 
innate ability and natural insight into the ailments of his patients, he bridged 
over many difficulties and overcame many obstacles. Frequently in critical 
cases, there being an utter lack of nurses and conveniences for nursing, he 
would remain a greater portion of the time, when not urgently needed else- 
where, with his stricken friends, giving them the very best care possible. 
He handled medicines with skill and combated successfully malaria, snake 
bites, gunshot and a\ wounds, fever and ague — "lung fever" — and other 
diseases of the earl)- days. With long walks or runs through the woods 
(not rides in his earlier practice) with a small fee for his services, many 
Times none at all, and most frequently a long-belated pay dav, he alleviated 
the sufferings oi the early settlers with an almost, heroic devotion. Much 
of the time he seemed almost indifferent to the financial end of his profession 
and though he secured a comfortable amount of property, he died in mod- 
erate circumstances. Of the second family of children, the two daughters 
reside in Palo. Ionia county, and the sons, Paul and Fred, have their homes 
in Bushnell township, the others having passed awav. 

Doctor Richardson was the first practicing physician to locate in Fureka 
Township, having been engaged in the active practice of his profession in 
.Fureka township as early as 185 t. 

Dr. Joshua 'Pennant, one of the early physicians of Bloomer township, 


was horn in Lanark comity, Ontario, Canada, August 25, 1838, his parents, 
John and Jane Tennant, having heen horn in County Kilkenny, Ireland, 
and having emigrated to Canada in T81.2. When he had grown to young 
manhood. Joshua Tennant entered the office of Dr. William Sloan, of 
Blyth. Ontario, Canada, and remained there two years, after which he 
attended the medical school of the University of Michigan, graduating in 
1872 After practicing at Dewitt. Clinton county, Michigan, for eight 
months. Doctor Tennant came to Carson City in the fall of 1872 and 
returned his practice. On October 28, j 873, he was married to Jane Tay- 
lor, who was born at Northeast I To]). Canada, on April 10, 185 t, and who 
was the daughter of the l\e\. J. B. and Christina (Bain) Taylor. Two 
children. John S., born on June 2y, 1877, and William O., born on June 12, 
1880, blessed this union. Doctor Tennant was a Republican and a member 
of the Congregational church. 

Dr. J. T. Joslvn was the first physician to locate in Trufant. After 
remaining for about one year, he returned to Guernsey and was succeeded in 
the practice.- by Doctor Hammond. 

Dr. H. F. Kilborn was one of the first, if not the very first, physicians 
to locate in I'ierson. He came to l'ierson in 1869, but remained only a short 
time, when he removed to \ew York state. Doctors Everett, H. S. Holdcn 
and Col. ! ). Johnson followed Doctor Kilborn at Pierson. 


The second settler in Cato township and the first physician in the town- 
ship was Dr. Daniel King. He was a young man when he arrived in Cato 
town-hip with his wife and settled on the east half of the northeast quarter 
of .section 23 He was well educated and already had made considerable 
progress in the study of medicine and may, from the services which he ren- 
dered during his short slay in Cato township, he considered its first physi- 
cian. His daughter, born in the spring of 1855, was the first child born in 
the township. He exchanged farms with E. B. Gallea and returned to Ohio, 
where he continued to follow his profession. 

Dr. .Sylvester Derby, who came to Sidney township from Eairplain 
township, where he was the first physician, settled on section 10, near the 
southeast shores of the lake which now bears his name. He built a cabin 
and remained a number of years. He was one of those characters some- 
times met with on the frontier — a genius in his way. Besides being a good 
physician for those days, he was a gunsmith, could repair a watch and 


clock, and was, in fact, a jack-of-all-trades. He subsequently went north, 
where, it is said, after having- moved for the fortieth time, he settled down 
and engaged in running a hotel. 

Dr. John P> radish was also one of the first physicians of Sidney town- 
ship, and although his methods yielded readily to the popular superstitions 
of the day, he was considered, on the whole, as having been successful in 
his profession. Later he moved to the West and died there. 

Dr. Chauncey F. Shepard, who resided in Fairplain, was one of the 
early practicing phvsicians in Sidney township. He usually made his rounds 
on foot and, besides carrying a gun, was accompanied by a dog. An instance 
is related in which he is said to have killed a large bear near the cabin of a 
settler in the south part of Sidney township. Finding the family absent, 
and having no means to convey it to his home, he dragged it to a wagon 
which stood near the rude barn. Into this he finally succeeded in placing 
it, where it lav as if ready to spring 011 the first to pass by. The next morn- 
ing a lad was so badly frightened that he required the doctor's attention for 
several days. Doctor Shepard later practiced his profession in Fvergreen 

Doctor Jackson was the first physician to come to Home township. 
He settled in the south part of the township, 011 section 26, where he 
remained for several years, and then moved to the West. But he subse- 
quently returned to Home township and died here. The next physician. 
Doctor White, like his predecessor, after entering a piece of land, left the 
county and moved to the West. 

One of the earlv phvsicians of Stanton, who is s-till engaged in the 
practice is Dr. X. F. Rachman. Fie was born in Xew York state in T845. 
the son of Jacob S. and Mary ( Renoyer) Rachman. and was educated for 
medicine at the Ft. Wayne, Indiana, Medical College, from which he was 
graduated in March, 1877. After his graduation, he was induced by Dr. 
D. A. M chain to locate in Stanton, and for the next five years practiced in 
partnership with Doctor Mchain. Since that time he has practiced alone. 
Doctor Rachman was mayor of Stanton three terms; health officer for a. 
number of years, a member of the board of supervisors and pension exam- 
iner for a number of years. He is a member of the Montcalm Count v Medi- 
cal Association and the State Medical Association. In March, 1878. Doctor 
Rachman was married to Mercy A. Burgess, who died on November 3, 
t 9 t 3 . They had three children, one of whom is deceased. Two arc living, 
.Royal O. and Mrs. Lena B. Willett. 

Dr. Joseph Wilkinson was one of the very earliest physicians in Stan- 


ton. Tie came to Stanton in (866 from what is now the town of Nashville, 
in Barry county, Michigan, and after practicing here for a number of years 
removed to Farewell, in Claire county, where he died. During the Civil 
War, he was an assistant army surgeon. 

Dr. Daniel Shook was the first resident physician of Pierson township. 
He was horn in Dutchess county, Xew York, and after practicing there and 
in Canada for a time settled in the north part of Pierson township in 1862. 
Tn 1877 he moved to Coral, where he continued the practice for a time, 
when he engaged in mercantile business, at which he continued until his 
death, ten years ago. His son. Abram N. Shook, continues to conduct the 
business his father established. 

Dr. George Z. Valleau, of Carson City, who died on September ij, 
1907, at the age of sixty-four, was one of the pioneer physicians of Bloomer 
township. After graduating from Kingston University, Ontario, he came to 
Carson City in t86/ and practiced there until T878, when he went to Groton, 
South Dakota, where he remained until 1905, when he returned to Carson 
City. He did not practice after his return. 

Dr. James A. Stringham, another pioneer physician of Carson City, 
died on July 21, 1906, at the age of fifty-nine. 

Dr. Frederick Taylor, of Carson City, who practiced medicine for a 
time at Stanton, died at (.'arson City on April 25, 19T2, at the age of fiftv- 

Dr. Jay R. Lovett, of Carson City, who was long a familiar figure at 
Carson City and in Bloomer township, died on December 17, 1904, at the 
age of fifty- two. 


Dr. H. I*. Ranney, of Stanton and Fdmore, was born near Batavia, 
Xew York, June 7, 1833, and accompanied his father to Grand Rapids in 
1847 and to Albion in 1851. He entered the army in T863 as second lieu- 
tenant in the Fifteenth Xew York Cavalry, in a company which he had 
assisted in recruiting. At the end of the war and after studying medicine 
for several years, he worked in his brothers' drug store, and in 1869 com- 
menced practice with Dr. A. J. Wiggins, of St. Johns. After traveling as 
"specialist," Doctor Ranney settled at Stanton and became a prominent citi- 
zen of the village. For a time he was assistant surgeon to the old Detroit, 
Pausing &* Lake "Michigan Railroad. After practicing at Stanton for a num- 
ber of years he removed to Pxlmore and died there. He was married in 
1856 to Mrs. H. M. Wilsey, who bore him two sons. Doctor Ranney, 


besides being a physician, also practiced dentistry. Tie was a Mason, Knight 
of Pythias and member of the Congregational church. 

Doctor Culver practiced medicine at Stanton for a time during the 
early seventies, lie removed from the county, however, and never returned. 

Dr. R. L. Bentley, one of the physicians of Stanton, began the prac- 
tice of medicine in 189;. after graduating from the homeopathic depart- 
ment of the University of Michigan in 1893. Previously he practiced a 
short time in Ionia with Dr. A. B. Grant. Doctor Bentley is a member of 
the State Homeopathic Medical Association. He was pension examiner for 
many years at Stanton and has served many years as health officer. 


Begining in 1881 all phvsieians practicing in the county were required 
to register in the office of the county clerk, and the following is a complete 
list of the registrations from i88t to 1900. The name of the physician, the 
school where his medical education was received, the year of his graduation, 
the particular school of medicine to which he belonged, the place where the 
physician was then practicing and the date of registration are given in most 
cases. The list of registrations is as follows: 

George Hart, Worthington Pdectic College. Crystal, July to, 1883. 

Vanuini Ji. W'urden, Montcalm. July 28. 1883. 

William Camber, Cleveland Medical College. March 4. 1881. McBride. 
regular. August 7, 1883. 

Jediah P. Sullivan, regular, .August 18. 1883. 

Charles M. Martin. Bellevue Hospital Medical College, 1874. regular. 
August 18, 1883. 

.Mien L. Corey, University of Michigan, 1868, allopathic, Stanton, 
August _'i. 1883. 

Donald A. McLean, University of Michigan, 1867, regular, Stanton, 
August 22, 1883. 

Reuben A. Puller, homeopathic. Sheridan, August 2^, 1883. 

M. Clayton Green. University of Michigan. T883, regular, Stanton, 
August 25, 1883. 

Xorman P. Bacbman, Medical College of IT. Wayne, 1877, regular, 
Stanton, August 25, 1883. 

John Phipps, eclectic, August 27, 1883. 

Ira S. King. American Medical College, Cincinnati, 1854, eclectic, Coral, 
August 28, T883. 


John W. Kirtland, Hahnemann Medical College 1877-78, homeopathic, 
Lakeview, August 29, 1883. 

Louis A. Roller, Rush Medical College, 1881, regular, Edmore, August 
28, 1883. 

Charles S. Sheldon, College of Physicians and Surgeons, 1868, Buf- 
falo Medical College, 1867, regular, Greenville, August 28, 1883. 

Henry E. Brown, Western Homeopathic College, 1858, eclectic, Bush- 
nell, August 30, 1883. 

James P. Baker, homeopathic. University of Michigan, 1878, Stanton, 
August 30, 1883. 

James J. Wier, eclectic, Edmore, August 31, 1883. 

James C. Brooks, eclectic, Lakeview, August 31, 1883. 

Cyrenius Sayles, regular, Langston, September 3, 1883. 

Charles W. King, Atlanta Medical College, 1861, regular, Langston, 
September 4, 1883. 

John Lamoreuw Eclectic Medical College. 1876, eclectic, Lakeview, 
September 3, 1883. 

Charles O. Adams, Cleveland College of Medicine, 1854, regular, Lake- 
view, September 5, 1883. 

E. W. Hubbard, regular. Six Lakes, September 5, 1883. 

Lyman S. Crotser, University of Michigan, 1883, regular, Edmore, 
September 1, 1883. 

Erastus H. Cummings, Hahnemann Medical College, University of 
Michigan, 1876, regular, Edmore, September 1, 1883. 

A. LI. Forsyth, University of Buffalo, 1882, regular, Lakeview, Aug- 
ust 31, 1883. 

James H. Moon, eclectic, Sheridan, September 7, 1883. 

John LI. Dumon, University of Michigan, 1877, regular. Crystal, Sep- 
tember 6, 1883. 

Charles O. Jenison, Bennett Medical College, 1877, eclectic. Greenville, 
August 30, 1883. 

Morris Gibbs, Rush Medical College, 1879, Michigan University and 
Ypsilanti. 1875-76-77, regular, Howard City, September 17, 1883. 

J. Newton Hathaway. Dartmouth Medical College, 1881, regular, How- 
ard City, September 17, 1883. 

Mrs. Sophronia B. Cummins, eclectic, McBride, September to. 1883. 

Silas M. Gleason, Hahnemann Medical College, 1880, homeopathic, 
Sheridan, September 18, 1883. 


Edward Brewster, eclectic, McBride, September 22, 1883. 

Valentine Cross, Cincinnati Medical College, 1859, eclectic, Crystal, 
September 19, 1883. 

Hugh T. Hubbard, Detroit Medical College, 1883. regular, Sheridan, 
October 3, 1883. 

Elias Fish, Starling Medical College, 1848, homeopathic. Greenville, 
October 3, 1883. 

Truman Sawdy, eclectic, Howard City, October 8, 1883. 

Alva W. Nichols. Bellevue Hospital Medical College. 1873, University 
of Michigan, regular, Greenville, October 9, 1883. 

Lewis D. VVetmore, eclectic, Pierson, October 9, 1883. 

John Avery, Cleveland Medical College, 1850, regular, Greenville. Octo- 
ber 18, T883. 

H. L. Ash, Ohio Medical College, 1871, regular, Crystal, October 18, 

Thomas Rrayman, Britanic, October 2J, 1883. 

William Smith, Clairandeant, Fairplain, November 1, 1883. 

Charles F. Morgan, Yale Medical College, t866, regular, Greenville, 
October 25, 1883. 

Charles S. Cope. Cincinnati College of Medicine and Surgery, Starling 
College, Columbus, 1875, regular, Edinore, October 9, 1883. 

James Plank, Pierson, regular, November 6, 1883. 

John Gray, University of New York City, 1879. regular, Trufant, 
November 8, 1883. 

Mrs. Cornelia M. Barnes, eclectic, Fairplain, November 7, 1883. 

H. E. Cummins, eclectic, McBride, November 3, 1883. 

E. C. Sweet, eclectic, Montcalm county, October 27, T883. 

Caleb Griffith, homeopathic, Greenville, November 15, 1883. 

James Totten. homeopathic, Pierson, November 20, 1883. 

John J. Travis, University of Michigan, T876, regular. Carson City, 
November 20, 1883. 

G. P. Booth, eclectic, Montcalm county, November 14, 1883. 

L. B. Lester, Hobart College, regular, Greenville, November 19, 1883. 

Joel Soule, magnetic, Fairplain, November 26, 'iSS^. 

Samuel Morgan, Yale Medical College, T875, regular, Howard City, 
October 8, 1883. 

Burnetii S. Frisbie, Syracuse Medical College, eclectic, Crystal, Novem- 
ber 7, 1883. 


Andrew B. Spinney, Western Homeopathic College, 1859, homeopathic, 
November 28, 1883. • 

Donald A. M. Donald, University of Michigan, 1876, regular, Mont- 
calm county, December 4, 1883. 

Joseph T. Kilborn, eclectic, Trufant, November 7, 1883. 

Horace L. Bower, Albany Union University, 1864, regular, Greenville, 
September 13, 1883. 

O. B. Sims, homeopathic, ('arson City, September 4, 1883. 

James A. Straigham. Hahnemann Medical College, 1877, homeopathic, 
Carson City, December 5, 1883. 

Joshua Tennant, University of Michigan, 1872, regular, Carson City, 
December 5, 1883. 

John J. Jush, University of Michigan, regular. Coral. December 5, 1883. 

John A. Barry, regular, Maple Valley, December 5, 1883. 

J. Larnout, regular, ("arson City, December 6, 1883. 

Ann Howell, Kclectopathic School of Canada, 1879, eclectic, Green- 
ville, December 13, 1883. 

G. F. Golden, eclectic, Coral, December 21, 1883. 

Patrick Martin. University of Michigan, 1864, Bellevue Hospital and 
Medical College, 1867, regular, Carson City, December 26, 1883. 

Mrs. Deborah T. Lindley, magnetic, Greenville, January 10, 1884. 

Richard P. Comfort, Columbus Medical College, 1882, regular, Mc- 
Bride, January 19, 1884. 

Elmira Berry, Pine, February 2j, 1884. 

Alexander Leslie, regular, McBride, March 4, 1884. 

Diantha Butter worth, magnetic, Douglass, April 4, 1884. 

Wilson B. Paine, Bellevue Hospital Medical College, 1884, regular, 
Greenville. April 7, 1884. 

Solomon B. Knapp, Lansing Homeopathic College, 1872, homeopathic. 
Crystal, March 15, T884. 

George S. Townsend, homeopathic, Cato, April 8, 1884. 

David H. Lord, Vermont Medical College, 1840, regular, Howard City, 
June 26, 1884. 

Avery E. Alden, Eclectic Medical College, 1879, eclectic, November 
19, 1884. 

D. E. L. Robertson, eclectic, McBride, December n, 1884. 

B. J. Daniels. New York University, 1862, regular, February 17, 1885. 

Orpheus Smith, homeopathic, Pierson, March T4, 1885. 


Earl Brigham, Rush Medical College, 1885, regular, Vestaburg, May 
11, 1885. 

A. L. Brighnir, Trufant, May 15, 1885. 

Walter J. Bruce, regular, Gowen, June 13, 1885. 

Edwin Pierce Higgins, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, 
187 r, regular, July 14, 1885. 

John B. Reed, August 31, 1885. 

Charles W. Paine, University of Medicine and Surgery, 1876, eclectic, 
October 17, 1885. 

Francis M. Kinney, January 29, 1886. 

Rebecca A. Zink, March 11, 1886. 

Elizabeth Paul, Gowen, May 20, 1886. 

William C. Freeman, Trinity Medical College, 1876, regular, July 6, 

Stephen A. Gates, Albany Medical College, 1878, regular, Crystal, 
December 1, 1886. 

Fannie Brainard, Michigan University, 1877, regular, December 13, 

Edwin E. Sayles, Beach Medical Institute, 1886, eclectic, December 14, 

VV. Andrew Dutt, Bennett Medical College, 1885, eclectic, December 
15, 1886. 

E. G. Wagan. Edmore, January 28, 1887. 

James S. Campbell, magnetic and eclectic, Edmore, February 16, J 887. 

George W. Forrest, regular, May 9, 1887. 

Walter S. Shotwell, Flomeopathic Medical College, 1882, homeopathic, 
June 24, 1887. 

John L. Duston, eclectic, Howard City, August 17, 1887. 

Levi Day, Western Medical Reserve College, 1850, regular, September 
2, 1887. 

C. D. Romans, Medical College of Ohio, 1881, regular, September 5, 

Lyman A. Sayles, September 14, 1887. 

Charles A. Sweet, College of Physicians and Surgeons, 1887, regular, 
September 27, 1887. 

A. G. Goodson, eclectic, Pierson, October 19, 1887. 

Hugh Fuller, eclectic, January 15, 1888. 

C. J. Gardner, magnetic, Greenville, April 6, 1888. 


Oliver O. Osborn, University of Maine, 1883, University of Ohio, 
1884, eclectic, Fen wick, May 9, 1888. 

Edward R. Close, eclectic, May 7, 1888. 

George Chapman, regular and eclectic, April 13, ]888. 

Fred K. Taylor, University of Bishops Medical College. 1888, regular, 
June 26, 1888. 

Jay Lovett, eclectic, September 21, 1888. 

Carl Buck, Knlongen University, Germany, 1876. regular, September 
26, 1888. 

Frank F. Ferguson, Trinity University. [888, regular. September 21, 

J. J. Austin, Bennett Medical College, 1872, eclectic, October 27, 1888. 

Joseph S. Zukoskie, Medical College of Warsaw. Russia, T867, regular, 
October 31, 1888. 

George H. Powers, regular, October 14, 1888. 

Wesley Miller, Columbus Medical College, 1876, regular, September 
24, 1889. 

Robert Henry Blaisdell, Indiana College of Medicine, r884, regular, 
Crystal, November 3, 1889. 

William M. Wemp, Detroit College of Medicine, 1886. regular, Edmore, 
March 12, 1890. 

E. D. Newton, Detroit Medical College, 1883, regular, March 22, 1890. 

Arthur S. Austin, Detroit College of Medicine, 1886, regular, April 12, 

M. Beaty, Jefferson Medical College. 1877, regular, Entrican and 
Greenville, June 24, 1890. 

Matthew Mack, University of Michigan, regular, October 5, 1890. 

Lon A. Denman. Lakeview, November 29, 1890. 

Elvira E. Jones, Eclectic School of Medicine, 1856, Carson City, June 
16, 1891. 

J. H. Sanderson, Michigan College of Medicine. 1890, regular, Edmore, 
September 16, 1891. 

Charles L. DeLeon. Eclectic and Royal School of Physicians and Sur- 
geons, 1874, eclectic, October T9, 1891. 

William E. Rodgers, eclectic, February 3, 1892. 

Mrs. Etta Gunn, August 2, 1892. 

Wirt W. Jones, Buffalo Medical University, 1892, regular, November 
13, J 892 


D. K. Black, Detroit College of Medicine, 1886, regular, Greenville, 
December 5, 1892. 

Samuel E. Howard. Druidic Banchoreion Medical College, 1890, eclec- 
tic, Wyman, December 10, 1892. 

Francis R. Blanchard, University of Michigan. 1891, regular, March, 

Louis E. Deary. June 7, T893. 

Charles Baker, November 24, 1893. 

R. L. Bently, University of Michigan, 1893, homeopathic, Stanton, 
December 7, 1893. 

Charles A. Carle, Physicians and Surgeons Medical College, New York, 
1867, regular, Fntrican, March 1, 1894. 

Allen S. Russell, College of Physicians and Surgeons, 1864, regular, 
March 24, 1894. 

Lutetia A. Denman, April 3, 1894. 

John Robinson, regular and eclectic, May 24, 1894. 

William Kickland, Stanton, June 29, 1894. 

John F. Fleming, Kansas City Hospital Medical College, 1885, homeo- 
pathic, August 22, 1894. 

George W. Mallory, Starling Medical College, 185 1, regular, Howard 
City, August, 1894. 

Lyman W. Henry, eclectic, Pierson, September 21, 1894. 

Frederick Stevens, Medical College of Indiana, 1879, March 27, 1895. 

A. Lee Smith, Crystal, April, 1895. 

Seymour A. Wood worth, Hahnemann Medical College, T895, homeo- 
pathic, April 25, 1895. 

Major L. Dasef, Detroit College of Medicine, 1895, regular, May 7, 


Jay A. Lovett, Bennett Eclectic Medical College, 1890, eclectic, May 
11, 1895. 

Albert Stealy, Edmore, May 13, 1895. 

A. E. Savage, Detroit College of Medicine. 1893, regular, Gowen, 
May 15, 1895. 

Elba C. Van Decar, Excelsior College of Medicine, 1894, regular, May 
21, 1895. 

Oliver O. Osborn, Michigan College of Medicine and Surgery, 1895, 
regular, May 27, 1895. 

John F. Joslin, Long Island College Hospital, T869, regular, May 16, 


William Alfred Kickland, University of Michigan, 1895, regular, June 
29, 1895. 

John A. Morey, University of Michigan, 1881, regular, Richland and 
Ferris, August 28, 1895. 

U. A. D. Collelins, University of Pavia, 1890, regular, February 1, 

Sophia B. Jones, University of Buffalo, 1883, regular, May 7, 1896. 

John Harrison, Detroit College of Medicine, 1896, regular, June 17, 

\V. J. M. Lee, Illinois Health University, 1896, July 11, 1896. 

Albert Stealy, Toledo Medical College, regular, August 6, 1896. 

James W. Boucher, Eclectic Medical College, 1896, eclectic, August 
31, 1896. 

I. Winslow Ayer, Eclectic and Harvard Medical College, 1853, regu- 
lar, September 8, 1896. 

A. P. Culbertson, University of Michigan, 1884, regular, October 12, 

Albert F. Haskins, Fenwick, November 5, 1896. 

George E. Smith, Eclectic Medical College, 1897, eclectic, January 28, 

Charles E. Armstrong, Independent Medical College, 1897, magnetic, 
February 27, 1897. 

Benjamin E. Beardsley, Buffalo Medical College, 1865, regular, April 
6, 1897. 

Arthur D. Ballou, Michigan College of Medicine, 1897, regular, April 
6, 1897. 

C. J. Annes, Michigan College of Medicine and Surgery, 1892, regular, 
Pierson, May 11, 1897. 

Lyman \V. Soper, American Medical College, 1890, eclectic, Novem- 
ber 6, 1897. 

James C. Clarendon, Druidic University, 1882, eclectic, November 3, 

James Purdon, Jefferson Medical College, 1897, tnc University Medi- 
cal College, 1897, regular, February 4, 1898. 

Gustave Nelson, University of Copenhagen, 1883, Louisville Medical 
College, 1893, regular, April 8, 1898. 

Henry Salisbury, magnetic, June 28, 1898. 
William Day, January 16, 1899. 


Grant D. Sopcr, American Kelectic Medical College, 1891, eclectic 
February 28, 1899. 

J. P. Young, College of Physicians and Surgeons, 1878, Crystal. March 
14, 1899. 

Will H. Pester, Kansas City Medical College, 1899, Greenville, May 6, 

Penbroke Edwards, eclectic, July t, 1899. 

Edwin Hughs, TTahnemann College of Medicine, t886, homeopathic, 
July 7, 1899. 

William Robbie, Harvey Medical College, 1899, regular, September 6, 

George Dakin. Western University, 1899, dentist, Stanton, September 
27, T899. 

Marion W. Swarthout, Independent Medical College, 1898, regular, 
Greenville. October 5, 1899. 

Claude Adams, Cleveland College of Medicine. 1854. regular, Pake- 
view, October 5, 1899. 

John W. Kirtland. Hahnemann Medical College, T878, homeopathic, 
October 5, 1899. 

El am Mann, magnetic, October 23, T899. 

Claude Boorie Root, Northern Institute of Osteopathy, 1901. osteo- 
pathic, January 6, 1902. 


By an act approved on September 23, 1899. all physicians were required 
to register again, and certain requirements were fixed in the legislative act 
covering the eligibility of physicians under the registration statute. The 
list of registrations since the going into effect of that act is as follow: 

R. Peighton Bentley. Stanton, January 25, 1900; A. P. Culbertson, 
Vickeryville, January 26, 1900; J. P. Kilburn, Trufant, January 26, 1900; 
A. E. Savage, Gowen, January 26. 1900; James Purdon, Edmore. January 
26, 1900; C. E. Morgan, Greenville, January 26, 1900; John Phipps, Stan- 
ton, January 22. 1900: Francis P. Blanchard, Lakeview, March 22, 1900; 
Elias Fish, Greenville, March 22, T900; William P. Gamber, Stanton, March 
22, 1900; A. William Eoy. Central Pake, January 26, 1900: Lyman S. 
Crotsen, Edmore. March 22, T900; Daniel C. Bell, McBride. January 26, 
1900; IP B. Johnson, Sheridan, March 22, T900; S. M. Gleason, Greenville, 
January 26. 7900; Thomas B. Dowden, Lansing, January 26. 1900; Xor- 


man E. Bachman, Stanton, March 22, 1900; Charles Al. Martin, Greenville, 
March 22, tqoo; Sophronia Cummings Walsh, Westville, March 22, 1900; 
Charles O. Jcnison, Greenville, March 22, 1900; John G. Just, Coral, March 
22, 1900; Robert H. Blaisdell, Sheridan, March 22, 1900; John Avery, 
Greenville, March 22, 1900; Cyrenius C. Sayles. Langston, March 22, 1900; 
Albert Stealy, Femvick, A [arch 22, 1900; Gustava M. L. Nelson, Trufant, 
March 22, 1900; Klaine Mann, Stanton, March 22, 1900; John Tyler Joslin, 
Lakeview, May 8, 1900: William Richardson, Carson City, January 26, 
1900; Frederick Taylor, Carson City, January 26, 1900; John W. Kirtland, 
Lakeview. March 22, 1900; Carl M. Bock, Greenville, March 22, 1900; 
Jay A. Lovett, ('arson City, March 22, 1900; H. L. Bovver, Greenville, Jan- 
uary 26, 1900; Alva Winslow Nichols, Greenville, January 26, 1900; Cor- 
nelia M. Barnes, Amsden. March 22, 1900; Arthur D. Ballon, Vestaburg, 
March 22, T900; Josiah Black, Belding, March 22. 1900; James Totten, 
Howard City, March 22, 1900; William H. Belknap, Greenville, July 31, 
1900; Stanley Monroe, Berlin, July 31, T900; Duncan K. Black, Greenville, 
January 26, 1900; Allen L. Corey, Stanton, March 22, 1900; James A. 
Stringham, (_'arson City, January 26, 1900; L. B. Tester, Greenville, Janu- 
ary, 26, 1900; Will TT. Tester, Greenville, January 26, 1900; Charles A. 
Carle, Entrican. March 22, 1900; George S. Townsend, Six Takes, March 
22, T()oo; S. Darwin Boughnere, Grand Rapids, March 22, 1900; Benjamin 
T. Franklin. Merrill, March 22, 1900: Benjamin W. Franklin. Merrill, 
March 22, K)oo; Frank T. Ferguson. Howard City, March 22, 1900; Jan 
Odell Nelson. Howard City. March 22. 1900; J. P. Young, Crystal, March 
22. lyoo; J. Audley Young, Crystal, May 22, 1901 ; Adelbert Wesley Mar- 
tin. Yicksburg, July 8, 1901; Elmer Lucius Street, Ithaca, November 23, 
1901; William IT. Haskins. Edmore. March 22, 1901 ; S. S. Ludlum, How- 
ell, March 22, 1900: Almond A. DeGroat, Woodville, March 22, 1900; 
Eugene S. Robertson, Tansing. January 26, 1900; Samuel \\. A [organ. Sun- 
field. March 22, 1900; E. Maude Whelpley. Sunlield, June 2, 1902; J. D. 
Whelpley, Grand Rapids, May 8. 1900; Rayburn B. Smith. Saginaw, May 
14, 1903; John Mcintosh, Whittemore, March 22, T900; George Tewis 
Bond, Ann Arbor. June t8, T903; Louis C. Jacobson, Sheridan, August 19, 
1903; William B. Dove, Muskegon, January 26, 1900; Elba C. Van Decar, 
.Saginaw, May 21, T902 ; Cyrus Bunting Gardner, Pickney. August 19, 1904; 
F'red A. Johnson, Ann .Arbor, June 22, T904; Charles Reid Lawson, Detroit, 
April 2i, 1903; Rudolph Pickard Miller. Battle Creek, July 6, 1903; Will- 
iam G. Young, Saginaw, May 14. 1903; Lee E. Kelsey, Lakeview, June 22, 
1904; James C. Valentine. Ypsilanti. May 15, 1901 ; Francis J. Fraliek, 


Northport, January 26, 1900; Jorgen W. Hansen, Trufant, August 23, 
1905; Stanley Ray Coleman, Carson City, August 25, 1905; Lewis E. 
Bracey, Detroit, May 4, 1905; George Henry Lewis, Greenville, August 8, 
1905; Richard Coles Lyle, Jr., Detroit, May 19, 1905; Ernest M. H. High- 
field, Detroit, November 11, 1904; Richard H. Wood, Montrose, March 22, 
1900; Melvin C. Hubbard, Detroit, May 17, 1906; Albert James Bower, 
Greenville, August 8, 1905; John A. Innis, Lakeview, March 22, T906; 
John C. Salmon, Shelby, January 26, 1900; Clinton D. Woodruff, Allegan, 
March 22, 1900; Walter Anson Lee, Sheridan. February 23. 1907; Edmund 
W. Bolio, Coral, March 22, 1900; Walter C. Walker, Detroit, March 22, 
1900; John E. Taber, Harvard, March 22, 1900; Temple K. Brown, Fow- 
lerville, July 16, 1907; Mortimer E Danforth, Ann Arbor, June 6, 1902; 
Frederick Fugene Warren, Sparta, April 21, 1908; George Richardson 
Stark, Grand Rapids, June 4. [903; Horace E. Hungerford, Bennett, March 
22, 1900; Richard Coles Lyle, Jr., Detroit, May 19, 1905; Edward Bollin- 
ger, Kankakee, Illinois, October 1, 1903; Lyman W. Soper, Rockland, March 
22, .1900; Albert \V. Sovereen, Yanderbilt, March 22, 1901 ; Donald Alex- 
ander McLean, Stanton, April 9, 19 ro; Arthur W. Woodburne, Caro, Jan- 
uary 26, 1900; Omar J. East, Vandalia, March 22, 1900; Henry C. Carpen- 
ter, Woodland, March 22, 1900; P. Jay Rohrig, Ferry, March 22, 1900; 
John Robert Hansen, Trufant, June 30, 191 1; Louis Adelbert Wardell, 
Hastings, September 1, 191 1; Charles W. Lozar, Detroit, May rr, 1910; 
Noble William Miller, Howard City. May 18, 1912; Bert C. Sickles, Bell- 
aire, January 26. 1900; Albert Stewart Barr, Ann Arbor, June 24, 1909; 
Frederick H. Ferguson. Fronto, New York, July 13, 190 1 ; P2arl Perchel 
Brunce, Williamsburg, May 26, 191 1; Don Vilette Hargrave, Palo, June 19, 
1913; George W. Barber, Greenville, November 1, 1913; William Anson 
Forester, Cleveland, Ohio. January 26, 1903; Howard Norton Flexer, Lake- 
view. June 17, 1904; George Fdward Home, Auburn, May 11, 1906; Philip 
T. Leighly. Stanton. July 27, 1915; James Albert Paul Duncan, ('arson 
City. May 3, J 906. 


The following nurses are registered in Montcalm county and with their 
names are given the dates of their respective registrations: Mrs. Kathryne 
Kirtland, April 2S, 1917 ; Grace Derby Wells, January t8, 19T2; Mrs. James 
Purdom, January 18, 1912; Jean McDonald Clark, April 28, 1912; Grace 
Lois Miller, November 6, 19T2; Mary Helen Mack, December 3, 1914, and 
Lillian McQueen Kelsey, .August 29. 1914. 



The following is a complete list of the registrations of optometrists in 
Montcalm county: Claude Wolfe, January 2, 1910; George K. Flint, 
March 29, 1910; Dwight B. Herrick, March 29, 1910; George C. Williams, 
March 29, 1910; James L. Lazier. March 30, 1910; John W. Davis, March 
30, 1910; Ashman Stoddard. May 10. 1910; Jacob Miller, May 10, 1910; 
Clarence L. Gilmour, September 8, 1910; William E. Bonnewell, June 5, 
1910, and Ira M. Stromsta, November 21, 19 jo. A large percentage of 
these registrations were made at Saginaw, although there was one each made 
at Grand Rapids, Detroit and Muskegon. 

George W. Baker registered as a drugless healer with the state board 
of registration in medicine, on November I, 19 13. 



The Democrats carried Montcalm county in U852, the first presidential 
election after the county was organized, but with that exception and the 
further exception of the Progressive upheaval in 1912. the Republican candi- 
dates for presidential electors have had an unbroken chain of victories in the 

In 1912, although Gustavus I). Pope who headed the Progressive candi- 
dates for presidential electors, received an unprecedented vote of 2.853 to 
1,876 for the Republican candidates and 1,381 for the Democratic candi- 
dates, the county gave Amos S. Mussleman, the Republican candidate for 
governor, 2,393 votes; Woodbridge X'. Ferris, the Democratic candidate, 
2,151 votes and Lucius W. Watkins, the Progressive candidate, 1,597 votes. 

In 1 914, the Progressive candidate for governor polled only 150 votes 
in Montcalm county, while former Governor Chase S. Osborn, the Repub- 
lican candidate that year, polled 2.328 votes to 1,591 for Woodbridge X T . 
Ferris, the Democratic candidate, who, by the way, was re-elected. 

Although the Blaine candidates for presidential electors ca